Wider PTO means less productivity for same pay

As U.S. employers expand paid leave offerings, workers are making use of the hours and what was once seen as a perk is increasingly seen as an expected benefit, The Wall Street Journal reports. 

Employers offered 80% of workers paid sick leave in spring 2023, an increase from 67% a decade ago, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor cited by WSJ. In that timeframe, paid vacation is now available to 77% of the workforce, up from 74%, and paid family leave is available to 27% of workers, up from 12%.

At the same time, the number of hours worked dropped to 32.9 per week in the first six months of 2023 compared to 33.5 hours worked per week a decade ago, according to Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta research. 

"Business owners are already trying to deal with missed sales opportunities because they don't have enough staff," Holly Wade, executive director of the research center at the National Federation of Independent Business, told WSJ. "The days off are adding another element of stress." 

Workers using the paid time off made available to them seems ordinary, but utilization rates as of late are marking a trend in itself. For instance, managers have some mixed reactions about workers taking more sick days. Thirty percent of white-collar workers with access to paid leave have taken sick time so far in 2023, up from 21% in 2019, according to one analysis of U.S. payroll data from 300,000 small and midsize businesses. Workers ages 25 to 34 are taking sick days most often.

Still, nearly half of U.S. workers who receive paid time off from their employer said they take less time than they are offered, according to a 2023 Pew Research Center survey. Workers' top reasons for taking less time than offered were feeling no more time off was needed, concern about falling behind at work, and feeling badly about co-workers taking on additional work.

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars