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Time Away From Work

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January 23, 2009

Everyone needs time away from work. Employers who provide time off benefits for their employees are showing them that they truly care for each employee's well-being. Having a work-life balance is hard to do, but when the employer has an established time away from work policy, such as vacation time, sick time and paid holidays, they are providing a way in which employee's can take that much needed break away from work.

When employers provide paid time off for vacation, sick and holidays, morale and job satisfaction is higher. The time off, as outlined in your policy, can either be time accrued throughout the year or time off given at the beginning of the calendar or fiscal year. One benefit of providing accrued time off for employees is that the time is taken in a little more even and regular fashion versus the employees having all the time-off accruals in their PTO account at the beginning of the year, with the potential for using it up right away.

When establishing your policy, make sure it clearly outlines how the time away from work will be administered, and train the employees on the policy, so there is no confusion about how the employees accrue time off, and when they can start using this great benefit you're providing to them. It is also a good idea to have a "use it or lose it" policy, which forces employees to take that much needed time off away from work. It also helps to ensure consistent coverage at work. Without a "use it or lose it" policy, an employee could accumulate a couple of years of time-off accruals and be away from work for more than a month at a time, which could have a severe impact on your company's workflow.

You'll also want to figure out a way to administor the accruals and deductions for your time-off policy to make sure that all employee information is managed in a consistent and fair manner. There are software solutions that will automatically calculate your time-off accruals and keep an accurate, up-to-date balance of the hours or days left in an employee's time-off bank.

Allowing your employees time away from work is a great employee benefit. Establishing a policy, informing your employees about the policy and finding an easy way to administor the policy will help you save time while providing this benefit.

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