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Question for folks in here who work at a company with unlimited PTO/vacation - how do you manage this from being abused by employees?

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I've worked for a company that offers unlimited PTO for 6 months now and had wondered the sane going in but I can see how helpful it is to have for morale and the culture there. I haven't heard of any abuse stories but there is an approval process that we must consider and have coverage for that time away. If we need a week off it must be approved for a month in advanced and coverage in place. If we need a day or two off it must be at least a week in advance and coverage in place and if more than a week is needed it must be submitted in writing reviewed and discussed with your manager. We actually had a situation like the latter on my team and was due to medical reasons this person needed to out for a month and it worked well. Our unlimited PTO is built on a foundation of honor, respect and consideration of others and our teams and people are well to do just that here. Hope this helps.

likesmart

This is generally not an issue. I have almost always had unlimited PTO, and we start with trust. We don't really hire jerks that would abuse it 😂. But, we do put some structure in place. Typically if it is more than 3 weeks, it will just require your leaders stamp of approval. Hope this helps!

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No surprise here that a comfortable culture is impacted by hiring right the first time. Bad hiring always gets overlooked when management scratches their head and wonders why things are going poorly.

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According to studies, you should be more concerned with underuse and burnout rather than overuse / abuse of the policy. Unlimited pto policies sound great and are great for recruiting and reduce some HR burdens, but you need to be very deliberate and set clear expectations when implementing this policy. I've worked for both models and much prefer the traditional policy as it sets clear expectations on how much time to take off is acceptable. Just Google 'unlimited pto' and you'll find a number of helpful articles to help you avoid the pitfalls of unlimited pto. Abuse of the policy should not be your concern.

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I also work in an unlimited PTO model and I have not seen any signs of abuse. Employees are free to take time off when they need it to take care of themselves and their families and dont feel guilty about taking a break. I am hoping we move to a 4 day work week soon.

likesmart

Wow! Will salaries be reduced to compensate for the reduction in hours?

Very surprised by the question. I have never heard of any overuse of this type of policy - usually it is rather UNDERused, as the spoken or unspoken rule is "everything must be finished"... and most of the time there is a need to train managers to approve the requests.

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The one thing I would add to the conversations in this string is that although it is "unlimited," we still have to record time off in our time system. So it does get tracked and can be reviewed by management. I think this also helps with avoiding abuse.

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I been working at agencies with unlimited PTO for 7 years now. There was no abuse of the policy. As a matter of fact, we have to push our leaders to mandate time off because people weren't taking it! In this pandemic especially and it led to alot of mental wellness challenges and burnout. If you do it, create parameters for leaders to continue to encourage planning for it. We called it DTO, discretionary time off. It was still always at Managers discretion. You couldn't request more than 2 weeks at a time without leadership approval. But we did treat people like adults.

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People end up taking less time off. Bc everyone knows there IS a limit. You just no longer know what it is.

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We had unlimited sick leave and it was horribly abused once the company got larger. My next company we had unlimited PTO but we all called it 'no PTO' because everyone was afraid to take more than a week or two a year. We were small and any absence was a burden on the team or your work just piled up because no one else could do it. We had really flexible working schedules which helped, but without an accrual there was no pay-out when you left. Some employees were bitter their attendance wasn't rewarded at annual assessments.

smart

Unfortunately, this sounds all too familiar with unlimited pto programs.

We have unlimited sick time but even before Covid, people just worked from home when sick. 🤷. I agree, the type of people you hire might affect the abuse of this. It is well documented that people are actually afraid to take more than 2-3 weeks a year with unlimited PTO. I also don't agree that incentivizing or giving more bonuses etc people for not taking leave is what one should do. In fact, you should be encouraging your employees to take time off and not celebrating their decision to not take time off.

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We’ve had unlimited discretionary time off for about two years. No abuse of power! All time off has to go in the HRIS and has to be approved by your supervisor- it’s not a complete free for all. We have to make sure there is coverage and the business won’t suffer. There are statistics that shows employees with unlimited time off take about the same amount of time if they were offered a standard 3 or so weeks. Good luck!

We implemented unlimited PTO just this past year. We've had no issues so far, but it is only offered to our senior level management.

Manage performance, goals, results not presence. Presence does not equal performance. We need to have better people leadership and inspirational work places where employees don't want to take advantage. My experience is people managers need to be unskilled in leading and engaging. Vacation isn't the issue, it's just the symptom.

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