- Will you split up the vacation and sick days or group them together? Some employers’ split paid days off into vacation and sick days while others lump PTO days together to be used at the employee’s discretion. In general, healthcare industries offer plans that combine PTO days into a set amount.
- How many days will you offer? This varies greatly among companies.Most healthcare groups provide about 5 weeks PTO for NPs and PAs.
- Will the amount of PTO days vary by team member? Most companies use a scale that decides how many vacation days an employee will have based on their years of service and level in the company. For example, someone who has been working less than 1 year for a company may only have 9 paid days off per year while someone who has worked 15 years for that same company may have 19 paid days off per year.
- When will the employees' PTO year start over? This one is pretty simple. Either choose to base vacation days on the calender year or on the team member's employment anniversary date.
- What happens if employees don't use all of their vacation days? Some employers allow employees to carry over all of their unused vacation days to the next year, some don't allow any unused days to be carried over and some allow employees to carry over five days to the next year.
- How much notice should employees be required to give when they need to take time off? This can range anywhere between the day before to several months before the employee needs to take time off. It is wise to be practical in regards to the company's needs as well as the employee's needs when deciding how much notice is required. Typically, 2 weeks of notice is acceptable. In some circumstances, i.e. a sick relative or death in the family, the required amount of notice will need to be flexible.
- Which holidays should be included in PTO policy? Many U.S. employers recognize 10 federal holidays, including New Years Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. By law, employers can’t prevent an employee from observing a religious holiday if that holiday is associated with their faith.
Need a sabbatical? The fact that employees need time off is non-negotiable, but the best way for employers to structure a PTO policy is negotiable. When deciding how to structure your company's PTO, think about what is best for your specific company. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when structuring a PTO policy: