HR Management & Compliance

The 2015 Employee Leave Survey Results Are In!

The results of our 2015 Employee Leave Survey are in and reveal that 99.4% of participants offer some form of time off to employees (marginally up from 98.9% in 2014). Here are a few more highlights of the survey:

  • Paid time off (PTO) is available to 96.6% of those responding to our survey.
  • Paid sick leave is an option for 83.8% (slightly up from 82.7% in 2014).
  • Paid personal days are available for only 39.5% of employees (down from 44.7% in 2014).
  • Vacation and sick leave are computed separately by 63.4% of participants (64.1% in 2014).

Thanks to all 1,431 participants! Here are the detailed results.

Who Participated?

A total of 1,431 individuals, with 79% at manager level or above, participated in this survey, which was conducted in August 2015. Of those who identified themselves, 58.3% represent privately owned for-profit companies, 10.1% are with public entities, and 31.5% work for government or nonprofit organizations.

Companies with 1–250 employees account for 60.9% of survey participants. Companies with 251–500 employees make up 13.8%, and organizations with 501–1,000 comprise 9.3%. Rounding out the group, companies with more than 1,000 employees account for 16% of survey participants.

Over half (66.4%) of the participants are in service industries; 21.2% are in agriculture, forestry, construction, manufacturing, or mining; 9.2% are in wholesale, retail, transportation, or warehousing; and 3.3% are in real estate or utilities.


Handle FMLA like a pro! Start on Monday, November 16, 2015, with a new interactive webinar—Beyond FMLA Basics: How to Handle Complex Tracking and Other Employee Leave Challenges. Learn More


Leave Types

Much like last year (98.9%), this year’s survey shows that 99.4% of participants offer some form of time off to employees. Paid vacation time, separately or as PTO, is available to 96.6% of those responding to our survey, while paid sick leave is an option for 83.8% (slightly up from last year at 82.7%); and paid personal days are available for 39.5% (down a bit from last year’s 44.7%). Vacation and sick leave are computed separately by 63.4% (64.1% in 2014) and as part of a PTO plan by 36% (35.6% in 2014).

Bereavement leave is offered by 84.4% (82.1% in 2014), and 89.4% (90.1% last year) offer 6 or more paid holidays per year. Extended medical leave is offered by 59.2% (58.2% in 2014), and maternity/paternity leave is offered separate from other sick leave by 28.1% (28.6% last year).

Flagged by 13% of survey participants, our favorite catchall “other” mostly contains fairly standard leave types, including maternity/paternity leave, holidays, wellness, military leave, jury duty, compensatory time off, and employee birthday. It also contains a few less known types of leave, for example:

  • Longevity leave
  • Terminal leave (half of sick leave balance just before retirement)
  • Sport representation leave
  • Pilgrimage leave for Muslims (5 days every 3 years) 
  • Marriage and moving day
  • Injury in line of duty leave
  • Military reintegration
  • K–12 leave
  • Medical donor
  • Piomingo Day
  • Crisis leave
  • Medical escort leave

Vacation

The first year of employment provides 2 weeks of vacation time to both exempt and nonexempt employees for the majority of our survey respondents at 58.3% and 58.7%, respectively. One week is offered to exempt employees for 16.1% and to nonexempt employees for 22%. Three weeks or more is provided to exempt employees for 11.8% and 8.8% offer 3 weeks or more to nonexempt employees.

Five years of employment provides exempt employees with 3 weeks of vacation for 55% (55.6% in 2014 and 52% in 2013) of survey participants, and 54% (56.1% in 2014 and 53.6% in 2013) provide nonexempt employees with 3 weeks. Four weeks or more is provided to exempt employees for 11.3% (15.2% in 2014 and 20% in 2013) and to nonexempt employees for 7.4% (10% in both 2014 and 2013). No vacation is provided to exempt employees for 2.5% (1.3% last year) of our respondents, and 1.9% (2% in 2014) provide zero vacation to nonexempt employees.

Ten years of employment provides exempt employees with 4 weeks of vacation for 40.5% and brings nonexempt employees the same for 41.8%. Four weeks is provided to exempt employees for 41.1% and to nonexempt for 39%. Five weeks or more is provided to exempt employees for 8.5% (7.8% in 2014 and 10.2% in 2013) and to nonexempt employees for 5.8% (5.6% in 2014 and 7.7% in 2013).

Fifteen years of service grants exempt employees 4 weeks of vacation for 53.3% (53% last year) and brings nonexempt employees the same for 51.5% (52.2% in 2014). Five weeks or more is provided to exempt employees for 14.2% (14.7% last year) and to nonexempt employees for 12.2% (12.6% in 2014).

Exempt employees with more than 15 years of service receive 3 weeks of vacation for 21% and 22.9% for nonexempt employees. Four weeks is provided to exempt employees at 53.3% (56.6% in 2014), and 51.5% (57.5% in 2014) provide the same for nonexempt employees. Five weeks of vacation time is provided to exempt employees for 14.2%, and 12.2% provide that same amount of vacation time to nonexempt. No vacation, however, is provided to exempt employees for 2.7% (3.2% in 2014) of our respondents, and 2.2% (3.7% last year) provide zero vacation to nonexempt employees.

Sick Time

Less than 1 week is the amount of sick leave provided to exempt employees for 12.3% (13.2% last year) of our respondents who offer this benefit, and nonexempt employees receive the same for 13.1% (14.5% in 2014). Exempt employees receive 1 to 2 weeks per year for 58.4% (60.8% in 2014) of survey participants, and nonexempt employees receive the same for 58% (60.4% last year). Exempt employees have 3 to 4 weeks per year for 8.9% (9.1% last year), and nonexempt employees get that amount for 8.8% (7.6% last year). More than 4 weeks per year is the norm for exempt employees at 2% (2.5% last year) and for nonexempt employees at 1.6% (2% in 2014).

Employees may use sick time to care for a dependent child for 88.8% who answered this question, and 86% allow its use to care for a sick spouse, while 73.4% allow use of employee sick time to care for a sick parent. It starts to drop when employees need time off to care for a sibling (39.4%) or to care for an ill grandparent (41.2%). At 29.1%, “other” is a mixed bag that includes:

  • Any relative living with the employee or that the employee has responsibility for, 16%
  • Domestic partners, 11%
  • In-laws, 10.5%
  • Anyone or anything the employee wants (almost all due to use of PTO vs. sick time), 8.5%
  • Dependents defined by the state or federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), 8.5%
  • Anyone living in the same household as the employee, 6%
  • Immediate family members, 4%
  • Grandchildren, 3.5%
  • Step-relatives, 3%
  • Aunts and uncles, 1%
  • Pets, 1%
  • Neighbors, .05%


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Disability Leave

Paid short-term disability (STD) leave is provided by 49.9%, with leave of fewer than 30 days the rule for 10.9% of survey participants who responded to this question. STD leave of 31–90 days is available to 48% (45.6% in 2014), and 91–180 days is allowed for 35.9% (40.4% last year). When it comes to how much of STD leave is paid, 67.4% (64.9% in 2014 and 59.6% in 2013) cover 51%–75% of employees’ base pay, and 16% (16.6% in 2014 and 20.4% in 2013) cover 76%–100%.

Paid long-term disability (LTD) leave is a benefit for 54.6% (47.8% last year), with leave of more than a year available for 52.2% (55.6% last year and 51.3% in 2013) of survey participants who answered this question. LTD of 6 months to a year is an option for 15.4% (16.3 in 2014 and 17.8% in 2013), and 4 to 6 months of paid LTD is available for 12.6% (13% in 2014), while 2 to 4 months is a benefit for 13.4%. LTD pay covers 51%–70% of base pay for 76.3% (81% in 2014 and 75.1% in 2013) and 26%–50% of base pay for 11.3% (10.3% last year and 11.9% in 2013).

PTO

One year of employment earns exempt employees 1 week of PTO for 13.6% and 2 weeks for 19.7%. The same length of service provides nonexempt employees with 1 week of PTO for 15.1% and 2 weeks for 19.4%. Three weeks is offered by 17.2% to exempt employees, and 15.9% offer 3 weeks to nonexempt employees. PTO of 4 weeks or more is provided to exempt employees for 10.1% and to nonexempt employees for 7%.

Five years of employment provides exempt employees with 3 weeks of PTO for 16.2% (18.2% in 2014) of survey participants, and 16.9% (19.1% last year) provide nonexempt employees with 3 weeks. Four weeks or more is provided to exempt employees for 29.3% (16.4% last year) and to nonexempt employees for 24.2% (15.1% in 2014).

Ten years of employment brings 4 weeks of PTO to exempt employees for 16.8% and the same to nonexempt employees for 16.4% of those who responded to this question in our survey. Five weeks or more is provided to exempt employees for 24.3% and to nonexempt employees for 20%.

Fifteen years of service gets exempt employees 4 weeks of PTO for 15.6% and brings nonexempt employees the same for 15.3%. Five weeks or more is provided to exempt employees for 28.6% (15.1% in 2014) and to nonexempt employees for 24.6% (14.7% last year).

Exempt employees with more than 15 years of service receive 5 weeks of vacation for 16.7% who answered this question, and 14.9% provide the same for nonexempt employees. Employees who are exempt receive 6 weeks or more PTO, however, for 15.5%, and nonexempt receive the same for 13.1%.

Tomorrow, more results from the 2015 Employee Leave Survey. Plus, an introduction to an interactive webinar, Beyond FMLA Basics: How to Handle Complex Tracking and Other Employee Leave Challenges.

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