I work for a company that provides two weeks of vacation and one week of paid sick leave (after 3 years and 11 months you go up to 3 weeks of vacation). I hate that I can’t use my sick pay for vacation, I never get sick and I have accumulated my 40 hours of sick (so I can’t accumulate anymore). I have two trips I want to take this year, but I am not going to have enough hours and I am too scared to use sick days when I am not sick.
I have emailed my HR department twice asking them if the idea of PTO had been discussed and they haven’t emailed me back. As a test I had a co-worker email them, she didn’t get a response either. So my question is: Why are companies resistant to PTO? Also, what should I do about my HR department not emailing me? I don’t want to whine, but I am pretty sure HR is supposed to be there for employees.
I know some people are big fans of Paid Time Off (PTO), where you have a set number of days you can take off, and it doesn’t matter if you have the flu or are going to Bermuda. You choose.
I hate it.
Why? Because vacation is supposed to be used for vacation. And, if I do get the flu (which thankfully, I haven’t this winter, though just about everyone I know has been hit by it), I don’t want to give up my vacation.
I realize that sick time is a very difficult thing to manage. If you say to people, “you have x number of sick days,” then by golly they manage to get sick precisely x times! Wow! Freaky coincidence, right?
If you switch to a PTO model, then suddenly no one gets sick any more. They come into work hacking and coughing and puking, but no one dares take a day off for illness because they’ve already planned their Mexican Cruise. (I’m still jealous, HR Wench.) The end result is that the only people who use PTO for sick time are the parents of small children, whose daycare/school won’t allow their child in the building if said child has a fever or is vomiting. (Smart.)
I’m actually a fan of personal responsibility and unlimited sick time. (Wheee, everybody gets sick all the time!) In my experience, people only take sick time when they actually need it. Those that abuse the privilege are usually the problem employees anyway, and you should be managing them right out the door for other reasons. Remember, unless an illness is approved for intermittent FMLA you can fire people who abuse sick time. (Evil HR Lady, firing those you love since 1999.)
I want people to be able to go on their cruises, or to their family reunions. (Even if they, themselves don’t want to drag themselves clear across the country to spend time with great aunts who leave slobbery lipstick kisses. If I must suffer, so must all of you.) I also want them to stay home when they are sick. Because I don’t want to get sick.
And, getting an extra week of vacation at only 4 years of service is pretty darn good.
So, I’m sorry, this isn’t the answer you wanted. And there are numerous people who disagree with me. That is fine, but just don’t cough on me during meetings and please don’t step into my office if you have the plague.