Employers are offering more innovative ways for workers to take time off, according to a survey  by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.

The survey, which compiled responses from more than 600 U.S. human resources and benefits professionals and other stakeholders, found 59 per cent of organizations provide a paid vacation plan while 36 per cent combine vacation time with sick days and personal days into a single paid-time-off bank. Notably, three per cent reported offering unlimited vacation time and another three per cent said they offer no vacation or paid-time-off at all.

Read: How can employers encourage employees to take vacation?

More than two-thirds (69 per cent) of respondents said they allow carryover for earned vacation/paid-time-off days to subsequent years. Another 24 per cent said they offer leave donations, which allows employees to donate time off to co-workers. And 16 per cent indicated employees are able to buy additional time off or sell the excess.

Another way organizations add flexible vacation time is with paid floating holidays. A fifth (20 per cent) of employers said they offer one per year, while another 27 per cent offer two days or more. However, the majority (52 per cent) of respondents said they don’t offer any.

“In order to attract and retain talent in our current competitive labour market, organizations are getting more tactical in offering a vacation structure that meets the unique demands of their specific workforce, providing added flexibility and work-life balance for employees,” said Julie Stich, associate vice-president of content at the IFEBP, in a press release.

Read: Should you let employees buy and sell vacation days?

For organizations offering paid-time-off, the number of days typically varies based on employees’ years of service.

  • One year — 31 per cent of respondents offer between 11 and 15 days.
  • Five years — 62 per cent offer between 16 and 25 days.
  • 10 years — 29 per cent offer between 21 and 25 days.
  • 20 years — 38 per cent offer between 26 and 30 days.

Just nine per cent of employers that participated in the survey said they allow more senior employees 36 or more paid-time-off days.

Copyright © 2019 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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