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September 01, 2010
Benchmark Your PTO Practices with Other Employers
Did you know that in 2010, 54% of employers are still using a traditional paid time off (PTO) system? According to the report “Paid Time Off Programs and Practices Report for 2010, authored by WorldatWork after compiling the results of its 1,036 survey responses, although more than half of employers are using a traditional PTO system, the number has gradually been reduced over time. In 2002 (first year of this survey), 71% of employers were, and in 2006, 63%.

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PTO Bank Systems
A PTO bank system generally places sick time, vacation time and personal days into one PTO pot for employees to use as needed. More than half of the organizations allow unused PTO to be rolled over into the next year (55%), and another 30% allow a partial rollover to the next year, according to the report. Also, 88% of the employers with PTO banks pay out the remaining PTO balance to employees when they leave the organization.

PTO time was generally accrued rather than credited all at once, according to the report, with 85% of participating organizations awarding PTO bank time on an accrual basis throughout the year.

Even employers using a PTO bank most often kept bereavement and jury duty programs separate from the bank.

Traditional PTO
WorldatWork’s report also says that traditional systems, keeping sick time, vacation time and personal days separate, seem to offer slightly more PTO to employees on an annual basis. The organizations with traditional PTO systems are more likely to have a “use it or lose it” policy. A little more than one-third of the survey respondents with traditional PTO noted that unused vacation time is forfeited (35%), unused sick time (43%) and unused personal days (80%), according to the report.

For traditional PTO systems and PTO bank systems, the average number of paid holidays is nine; and fewer than two in ten employers offer sabbatical leave programs, according to the report. Two-thirds of those employers offering sabbatical leave offer paid sabbatical leave.

The survey brief, a PDF, may be downloaded at no cost.

BLR's 2010 Paid Time Off Survey Results (Summary) is also available on

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