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""Unlimited"" paid time off

  • 09-08-2022 11:33am
    Registered Users Posts: 6,210 ✭✭✭

    I have seen this advertised on some jobs in the Statesian world on indeed. But that surely can't be right, why would anyone bother coming in?

    I presume there will be some manager standing over your shoulder with a frown on his pus if you have the audacity to actually take a couple of days off, as is generally the case in the Statesian world. How many days off do people with unlimited days generally take in a year?


  • Registered Users Posts: 68,780 ✭✭✭✭L1011

    They generally have onerous performance monitoring systems, and people often end up taking even less time off than in a normal job to stay on the good side of it. Which can be very little in the US.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,374 ✭✭✭SortingYouOut

    They leave this in your hands and you're expected not to take the piss. I know someone who pushed it to 40 days in one year but that was the most i'd seen, most tend to stick in or around 30 - 35 days.

    Beverly Hills, California

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,694 ✭✭✭Allinall


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,764 ✭✭✭FortuneChip

    It definitely doesn't seem in-keeping with the typical approach to business one would expect in the US, and I could say perceived attitude to work could be one that comes back to bite someone "abusing" the system.

    I had Unlimited Leave with a previous employer. The caveat was "at your manager's discretion", and I guess that could play a big part.

    I'd asked someone in HR was was meant by "Unlimited" and they off-the-record suggested there'd be some level of monitoring if it started to reach high-30s. I don't think I ever took more than 30, but I did take more than the years before it was implemented, without taking the p*ss.

    If you're doing shared work, I'd imagine your manager's discretion would be factored by the impact on the rest of the team.

    If your role is more specific to you, then I'd assume your project status is a big influencing factor on whether or not you'd be granted leave. If the work's done, enjoy the sun!

  • Registered Users Posts: 18 Headless_1916

    The primary driving reason for this policy is, as you might imagine, fiscal.

    In the US at least, explicitly accrued PTO hours must be accounted for by the business in their budget planning -- having a large amount of un-claimed PTO hours can impact budgeting and profits & loss calculations, because the company needs to have the funds available to pay out accrued PTO to their employees. This is because when you leave a job in the states with un-used but explicitly accrued PTO, your employer pays you for those hours when you leave, in cash.

    By eliminating explicitly accruing PTO hours, the company no longer has a fiscal obligation to meet when you leave their company that required them to hold cash-on-hand to cover your PTO hours. So they reduce fiscal liability and simplify their accounting by saying 'there is unlimited time off'.

    End result is that if you don't take your PTO in an unlimited time-off organization, you are giving up compensation that the company would pay you if you were to depart without using your PTO hours up.

    If it's a good place to work, you can indeed take a lot of time off above and beyond a company with an explicit PTO accrual policy, but if it's not a good place to work, you will somehow never have the time to take your PTO, and when you leave the company you will have handed over your salary for all those hours you never took to the company, without any possibility of being compensated in cash for the unused PTO. When done correctly, it is quite empowering. When done incorrectly, it just screws the employee out of some extra cash when they switch jobs later on. If you're the type who never takes PTO and finds the extra $$$ when you switch jobs to be valuable, then unlimited PTO will be a net loss for you. If you're the type that prioritizes always taking your PTO every year, then it really won't make (much of) a difference. Choose cautiously!

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