Paid Leave Not Universally Available, Survey Finds

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Less than one-third of employers offer a specific type of leave to part-time employees, although 99 percent of large employers offer some form of paid-leave option to certain employees, according to a recent employer survey.

These differences are important because the percentage of employees who achieve full-time work with several part-time positions with multiple employers is expected to increase under the Affordable Care Act's employer mandates, the Families and Work Institute said in a Feb. 24 news release regarding their recent survey.

Additionally, more employers provide differentiated vacation time, at 58 percent, and sick days, at 52 percent, than they provide paid-time-off, at 41 percent, the institute said in its survey, “Paid Time Off, Vacations, Sick Days and Short-Term Caregiving in the United States: 2014 National Study of Employers.”

Of the 59 percent of employers that do not provide paid-time-off, 87 percent offer both vacation and sick days, 11 percent only offer vacation time, less than one percent offer only sick days and one percent do not provide vacation or sick days to at least some of their employees, the survey said.

Although the amount of time employers offer for various forms of leave varies, the survey revealed a few common benchmarks, the institute said. Ten days for vacation time, five days for sick time and 15 days for paid time off were the most common amounts of time offered, it said, adding that there is still a fair amount of variation of paid leave offerings in the U.S.

For purposes of the 2014 survey, large employers were defined as those with at least 50 employees. Paid-time off was defined as a specific amount of paid leave regardless of the reason.

Respondents that confirmed having a paid-time-off plan “were assumed to not have a vacation or sick days plan and were not asked about vacation or sick days options.” The survey was conducted with the Society for Human Resource Management.

For more information, see Compensation and Benefits Library's “Sick Leave and Pay: The Basics” chapter.