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14 Replies Latest reply: Nov 16, 2008 7:17 AM by Mongoose RSS

Vacation, Sick, Unpaid Leave

BuynSell Newbie
Currently Being Moderated

I have a business with 8 part time employees, and recently have converted 2 employees to full time. I know that for part time employees I dont necessarily have to offer benefits such as PTO. But sick time, they can take it, they just don't clock in.

My employees on full time, I permit certain days off as long as it does not affect operations. I don't think it adds up to even two weeks a year. So I need to put something in place. For a small business, what is low, what is considered "ok" and what is considered "high" ? And how many sick days do I factor? If they use more sick days than allotted, say, be out sick for a month, does it come out of vacation, unpaid time off, or is it mandatory for me to pay? When employees leave for military service, I know I can't prevent them from going, but do I have to pay them?

So many rules, so little time...
  • Re: Vacation, Sick, Unpaid Leave
    Lighthouse24 Master
    Currently Being Moderated

    With 10 statutory employees, federal law doesn't require you to do anything pertaining to employee time off. In what state are you located? With that, I can definitely offer some solid recommendations and reasoning. Will check back later . . .
  • Re: Vacation, Sick, Unpaid Leave
    DomainDiva Master
    Currently Being Moderated
    Military employees deserve a little special consideration. Although you are not required to pay them while they are deployed, there may be some rules regarding their being able to return to their old jobs. Check that out.
  • Re: Vacation, Sick, Unpaid Leave
    LUCKIEST Master
    Currently Being Moderated
    It is great that your business is growing and you now have full time employees.
    How long have you been in this business?? Do you have an Accountant??
    Do you have a Business Plan?? Reason I ask (besides being a SCORE Counselor) is that
    part of the plan includes just what you are asking. As you said "you need to put something in place"
    It is time to set policy for employees that is fair and consistent.
    You need a policy for vacation (so many weeks after so many years), sick days, personal days
    even holidays and as you said unpaid leave. It should be in writing and all employees get a copy.
    Also this is a good time to think about health benefits.
    Good luck, LUCKIEST
  • Re: Vacation, Sick, Unpaid Leave
    CorpCons08 Master
    Currently Being Moderated
    You do not have to pay employees on military leave as they usually receive pay from the military. However, if the employee returns, you have to have the option available for them to return to their old jobs as per law. Check this out for your particular state, but I believe it is a federal regulation.

    CorpCons08
  • Re: Vacation, Sick, Unpaid Leave
    puzzleman Apprentice
    Currently Being Moderated
    I have two full time employees and many part timers. I found that the easiest for me to keep track of sick time used is to give them a ETO (earned time off) bank. For each hour that they wrok in a week, they earn ETO, which they can save up and use for sick rime, personal time or vacation. I usea formula of 0.04 hours of credit per hour worked. This works out to 80 hours of time off per year. I do pay for holidays instead of them using their ETO. If your employees are salaried, you can use a similar formula based on a weekly rate.

    So my answer is to determine how much timeoff that you want to pay for and then work backwards by determining how much that correlates per hour or week and credit your people that much with each pay period.

    The nice thing about this is that you don't have to say you only have this much sick time or vacation time. It is up to them to keep track of how they want to spend it and how much they can earn.
    • Re: Vacation, Sick, Unpaid Leave
      LUCKIEST Master
      Currently Being Moderated
      Good answer. As your company grows, you will need to set policy for employees that is fair and consistent.
      Especially new employees.
      You will need a policy for vacation (so many weeks after so many years), sick days, personal days
      even holidays, etc. It should be in writing and all employees get a copy.
  • Re: Vacation, Sick, Unpaid Leave
    DomainDiva Master
    Currently Being Moderated
    Don't forget to have a booklet or handout when you hire someone specifying leave, time off, holidays etc. You can also post these on a bulletin board.
  • Re: Vacation, Sick, Unpaid Leave
    CorpCons08 Master
    Currently Being Moderated
    Do you have a benefits package already such as health insurance, life insurance, retirement plans, etc?
    If so, yo should really package the vacation time, sick time and unpaid leave benefit disclosures with the other benefits.

    CC08
  • Re: Vacation, Sick, Unpaid Leave
    Lighthouse24 Master
    Currently Being Moderated

    I concur with puzzleman completely (as does one of the nation's leading employment attorneys).

    Have only one "flavor" of time off. Don't categorize it as sick leave, vacation, comp time, etc. -- just Earned Time Off -- working backward from your budget objectives as suggested to determine how much to offer.

    By the way, she (the attorney) wants me to tell you not to let people borrow unearned time off. If they haven't earned it and miss work, then they're off without pay regardless of the circumstances.
  • Re: Vacation, Sick, Unpaid Leave
    whirlwind3 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    I'm changing to a similar process having 5 FT employees. The "old way" was cumbersome and often inaccurate managed by a former ofc manager.

    In addition to earning 9 hr/month, I also threw in a paid birthday off. ETO will increase to 12 hr/month after 3 yrs of service. Since they often do so much outside of their job descriptions, I felt it was a fair way to reward their service.

    How is your new ETO process working??
  • Re: Vacation, Sick, Unpaid Leave
    Expert
    Currently Being Moderated
    buynsell-- depends on the type of industry you're in and what others are doing.
    In general, you should offer folks the typical 10 vacation days per year that can be accrued.
    We have had no vacation policy for the longest time because of how we do flex-time as an internet marketing company.
    If you hire the right folks, then you can allow freedom, since you know folks won't abuse it.
    But that's a big if.

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