Paid time off is not only good for your employees—it’s good for your business as well. Not only does it improve employee productivity and happiness, it also keeps you ahead of the competition. A recent study found that about 70% of US employees have access to some form of paid time off. Although federal law says that an employer does not have to offer any form of paid leave to employees, it seems clear that many businesses see net benefits to doing so. Here are just a few of the types of paid leave that could improve productivity levels and general well-being for employees. Consider what sort of benefits you can offer to keep your employees happy and productive.
Comp Time Off
One form of paid leave not many businesses know about is compensatory time off, also known as comp time off. Compensatory time off from the job is a form of paid leave, but it is a special case with some stipulations attached to it. This is a type of paid time off that some employers can give to certain employees instead of offering the more traditional overtime pay. However, this isn’t one of the kinds of paid leave a private business can offer to nonexempt workers. Giving employees something in exchange for their overtime on an important project can help them rest and be prepared for the next phase. Comp time off is useful for situations where it may not be as feasible for you to offer overtime but still know the importance of rewarding employees.
Personal Time Off
Paid personal time off is something employees can use to handle things like attending important conferences or events related to family, getting necessary things done that could impact work, or taking care of medical appointments. Some personal time off can be a good option if an employee needs to handle personal physical and mental or emotional challenges, as well. They can use it to visit an addiction recovery clinic, for instance. In most cases, personal time off with pay doesn’t have to be used for any specific purpose, making it a great general option for many people. Being able to deal with an addiction or chronic condition without having to justify each absence can help a struggling employee improve their health and focus on the job.
Parental Time Off
Although some employees can use personal time off to deal with family events, paid parental leave is something businesses can offer to families welcoming a new addition. Different states may have varying restrictions on parental leave, and some laws may require certain businesses to offer at least unpaid parental time off for a specified amount of time. Remember that parental leave does not just have to be for expectant mothers; more fathers than ever are helping in the home, and giving birth can take a lot out of a spouse, so having their partner around the home to help can make a world of difference.
Specific guidelines under federal law require employers to follow USERRA policies. USERRA is a set of rules that governs how employees who are active in the military can handle time away from their day jobs. At a basic level, USERRA requires employers to offer at least unpaid leave to military personnel for up to five years cumulatively. An employer can choose to provide paid leave as an added incentive. This kind of compensated time off can be useful to the employee and save the employer having to use resources to find permanent replacements.
Paid leave for employees may seem like some kind of unnecessary expense at first. However, different forms of paid time off can come with benefits such as a more stable workforce, more dedicated employees, and brighter, more optimistic workers who can produce consistent results during a crunch period.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan