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What’s the Difference between Vacation Time and PTO?

Taking Vacation Is Almost a Black Mark

The lazy days of hot summer are on the horizon. Having completed the cycle of seasons it is time to take off from work but many would like to take a day or a partial day here and there rather than use up all the time off that has been earned. There are companies that still have the vacation time system with sick days as a different type of paid leave. Family Leave is yet another type of time off that many employees have to grapple with and request time off for.


Taking Vacation

What about those awkward moments in everyone’s life where time must be taken off for something very personal, such as getting a hair transplant or a breast augmentation or a Botox refill? Those are normally outpatient days and can often take only part of a day or one day and it’s back to work. An employee will agonize about how to request this time on a sick leave and vacation time schedule. Often the employee will have to fill out a request to the human resources department about their plans to have new hair plugs installed on their head. Strange feelings can circulate, so getting the day off can be tricky.

This is all changing because of a system that has grown in popularity at many human resources departments. There are systems now being used that allow employees to submit requests for both paid and unpaid time off without having to fill out all the gory details. This revolutionary and more private method of taking time off is replacing the older system of sick leave and vacation time off.

People are simply opting to take a few hours here are there for personal time off and are only having to make the request within a reasonable amount of time before the desired date and time period. The PTO request is easily created in human resources data base software, where it can be tracked and documented to give credit and subtract credit for PTO earned.


What is PTO

What is PTO?

Personal Time Off (PTO)is one category of time off. This is a streamlined method of tracking credited time off for employees by their employers. This method tallies up the hours that an employee earns from a certain amount time worked. Every couple of hours of work means an hour of paid time off earned. Then the employee can also take the time off as needed so that they are not driven to only take time off in larger blocks at times the employers can allow them to be gone.

Often employers who are addicted to having their indispensable employees on the job, will pressure them to only take vacation at certain times. Then there are the employees who will come to work sick and not take sick leave in order to save it up for a big trip. There is the compensation day leave as well that becomes cumbersome for the employee to negotiate for if they have worked many days without days off for company demand. With PTO, employees have more freedom to simply use an employee intranet site to make PTO requests, which HR will process and approve based on need and qualification in one short motion.


Precious Time Off

Precious Time Off No Longer Needs to be Cleared With White Lies

The advantages to using a PTO system instead of sick time and vacation days is very encouraging to employees to discontinue the white lies to take personal time off. Many people have had to ‘call in sick,’ when they just needed time to attend a performance by Junior, at the school assembly that day. Playing sick is no longer necessary with PTO as that time can simply be requested.

Employees can take off hours at a time here are there for whatever reason without having to reveal everything and just be off for that time after approved. All they must have is time available in their PTO account and submit a request in a reasonable time frame to get approved. The privacy and the freedom alone increases employee self-esteem and morale as being part of a company that trusts them and values them enough to offer this kind of flexibility with time off.



Win-Win for Employers

Not only does the PTO system work quickly and efficiently, it is less complicated to track and it only keeps track of hours left in each employees PTO account for time off. Employers no longer need to use sick leave terminology and track reasons for employee absences with PTO so they also do not have to be in compliance for HIPAA and ADA regulations since that information is no longer needed from the employees.

The freedom of the self-managed PTO system is another win for the employer and the employee in reduced absenteeism. The employee tracks their own PTO and often is more prudent about budgeting that time. As a result they take fewer days off to be ‘sick’ to attend a 2-hour school function for their child. Essentially, it is a one account issue that is kept track easily so everybody is happy.



Article provided by NECHES FCU, with locations in Port Neches, Nederland, Beaumont, Lumberton and Bridge City.
Neches FCU is a Texas credit union and has an awesome team of professionals ready to deliver service all members. When their doors open at any of the several locations, our goal of “Ultimate Member Satisfaction” becomes the driving force for every staff member. They are well-known for a personal, dynamic and fast-paced work atmosphere, providing a memorable service experience, and where clients are known by name.
Neches has approx. $438 Million in assets with over 45,000 members. Neches Federal Credit Union is acknowledged by members and the business community as one of the best credit unions in texas and an actively involved partner, helping our Family, Friends and Community!

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