By: Reagan Williams
Are you guilty of letting your vacation days pile up? Have you had that experience where you were told you might lose them if you don’t use them? Well, everyone should consider using their vacation days, because there is no federal law that even requires employers to offer paid vacation, sick time, or holidays.
On the other hand, there’s companies out there that fall into the category of lumping vacation and sick days together and give it the nebulous term of “paid time off.” Since companies lack federal oversight, most companies only offer an average of 11 days. Additionally, employers have no federal obligation to offer vacation benefits over others, full-time versus part-time employees, or pay you out for unused vacation time if you leave your job.
Source: Pexels / Vlada Karpovich
Meanwhile, it’s at the employer’s discretion and it depends on what state you live in if you can carry over so many hours of vacation time. Many companies have an accrual cap and vary by state with different statutes. The best rule of thumb is a person should utilize those vacation days versus rolling them over or losing them. There are some easy tips anyone can follow to manage their days. First, you should try to use them. A suggestion is to book your vacation early in the year - plan ahead. This means even if you do not have plans, make them anyway. The later you make them in a year, during peak seasons at your employment or near a holiday, employers can impose rules or not grant you the time off you’ve earned. Conversely, if you want to ensure your days are approved then schedule your days off that are not near a holiday or during peak time at work.
In 2020, there was an average of 33% of people who lost their paid time off from not using it. Some companies are taking unconventional measures to encourage their employees to take a vacation. The impact of the pandemic has changed the scope of the workplace. As a result, more than one in five companies are offering more vacation this year, according to a Challenger Gray & Christmas, Inc. survey to help curtail company burnout among their employees. For example, companies i.e., PricewaterhouseCoopers are committed to supporting their employees into taking a vacation. Companies like Pricewaterhouse Coopers see the value of their employees needing to take a break, unwind and spend some time on themselves for their own lives.
So, why shouldn’t you follow suit? Vacations have distinct health and wellness benefits. Vacations have been shown to prevent illnesses in general, reduce the risk of heart disease, and can make a person feel happier and less burned out. People who travel and vacation regularly are shown to increase their sleep by almost 20%. These individuals have an increased chance of uninterrupted sleep. Vacations allow people to regroup and feel rejuvenated by restoring their work-life balance. A vacation can be an opportunity to create great memories with friends, family, and fur babies. This can allow people to strengthen bonds and family ties as they spend quality time with one another. If you want to go to the beach, mountains or desert, there are a variety of places across the U.S. this summer and the rest of the year to travel to. Now, if you’re ready to take your well deserved vacation, check out these websites e.g., Wanderlog, TripHobo, and itneree to help you get started on your vacation planning. Don’t wait, your next vacation is just at your fingertips.
Source: Pexels / Enrico Martins
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