Going Beyond the Norm: Some Companies Offering Paid Time-Off for Special Circumstances

Kansas City, Kan.— It’s no secret companies are still recovering from the recession and as a result, employees are putting in longer hours. Some companies, however, are offering additional paid time-off for special circumstances that arise, which may help employees maintain their work-life balance. The Benefits USA 2011/2012 survey results found 33.3 percent of companies offered paid time-off for a death in the family. Employees are granted an average of 3.4 days.

Thirty-three percent of companies offer employees paid time-off for jury duty, while 17.2 percent of organizations offer paid days for military leave. Employees receive paid time for maternity leave, paternity leave or adoption leave at a rate of 8.6 percent. Paid time-off is offered for family illness at 5.1 percent of companies surveyed.

The number of paid days off an employee may receive varies by region as companies in the Southeast grant an average of 83.2 paid days off for military leave. Organizations in the Midwest give their employees 76 days, compared to companies in the West, 71.4 days. Employees in the South Central receive 65.8 days for military leave and those in the Northeast receive the least, 53.6 days. Sixty-two percent of organizations surveyed reported no limit on the number of paid military leave days employees are eligible for.

Leave assistance programs are offered at some organizations to assist employees who have exhausted their paid leave. Leave bank programs, for example, allow employees to pool unused, accrued time-off into a bank to be drawn on by employees who need it. Leave bank programs are offered by 6.8 percent of companies surveyed. Leave transfer programs, which allow employees to transfer unused paid time-off directly to another employee, are used by 5.5 percent of companies surveyed. Only 24 percent of companies surveyed report having a leave assistance program in place.

“Emphasis on creating a work-life balance has been an increasingly important issue for employees for several years now,” said Amy Kaminski, director of marketing for Compdata Surveys, the nation’s leading pay and benefits survey data provider. “While some companies have responded by offering flexible schedules and telecommuting, it will be interesting to see how paid time-off programs are affected as well; particularly as women in the workforce are waiting longer to start families and more households are becoming responsible for the care of an aging relative.”

About the Survey
Benefits USA 2011/2012 analyzes national and regional data on benefits eligibility and administration policies with detailed information on benefit plans, premiums and provisions. Information was collected from nearly 4,500 benefit plans covering over six million employees across the country.

Compdata Surveys is the nation’s leading compensation and benefits survey data provider. Thousands of U.S. organizations provide data each year ensuring the reliability of our results. Compdata Surveys has been providing comprehensive data at affordable prices to organizations from coast to coast since 1988. For further information about their compensation and benefits surveys, contact Michelle Willis at (800) 300-9570.