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Why is unlimited PTO a scam?

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Not my experience. I work for a company that has unlimited PTO and people typically take off anywhere from 6-9 weeks a year. Plus, the ability to just take a day off here and there when you need too without worrying how it might impact a planned vacation is amazing. I guess it really depends on the culture but i don’t know one person that doesn’t take adequate time off at my firm. There is simply a trust that if you take a ton of time off, your work product and responsibilities don’t suffer and you are capable of time management/ prioritization. The argument that you dont get paid for unused PTO if you leave is a bit odd to me - Im taking more time off than I would ever have net elsewhere, so Im earning more off my “non work” time as a whole.

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SC3 - boutique investment firm. Not too uncommon for perks like this in some of the mid tier hedge funds, asset managers, PE firms. Its ultimately a byproduct of culture tho as to whether its truly practiced as this thread suggests. Management where I am encourages time off and its not frowned upon as they are also taking adequate time off, clearly others have had the opposite experience tho.

I work at a company with unlimited PTO and routinely take off 7 or so weeks a year (not counting around Xmas time) There are people in the company that scoff but were getting paid the same and my mental sanity and reputation in the company is just as good or higher We need to remember if we are thinking little r or big Rs 1. Little r is the restriction we place on ourselves 2. Big R is the restrictions that the company places on you I've found so many people assume a scam with unlimited PTO that they don't try. That is self imposed While there will always be some jerk bosses who deny things they shouldn't if the policy is there its nice because like some say you don't have to count every little day if you need a Monday here or Friday there Def agree with C2. I dont worry about payout because I'm taking what I need when I need it

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Same here. Unlimited PTO, no utilization targets.

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You end up using less PTO and your employer doesn’t have to pay out for your accrued PTO when you leave

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It’s the worst^

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It actually creates a culture where taking PTO is looked down upon

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@H1 that's very generous of the team to let you use the PTO instead of helping out BD

Also consider the business model of your employer. In hourly professional services, you have a utilization % target, which translates to billing X number of hours per year. Unlimited PTO doesn't reduce the baseline for utilization % or number, so you can take as much time as you want, but you are still on the hook for doing the same amount of work. In this sense, unlimited PTO is more like flexible work hours than true time off. In firms with a set number of PTO days, they can be used to shrink the utilization denominator and thus increase the utilization %.

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Lots of ps orgs adjust work schedule denominator hours based on exceptions like pto, company holiday, etc. but it’s uncommon at larger firms. Having worked at both it’s great to be able to take time off without worrying about achieving your bonus targets

Because you won’t take that many days off/you don’t get PTO paid out when you leave

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This exactly. They don't have to pay out PTO which saves $$$ and is the main reason companies do it. If you take unlimited pto obviously you'll under perform so yea... it is a scam

It’s easier for accounting because they don’t have to carry it as a liability. It’s crappy from an employee perspective because you don’t get paid/compensated on any PTO if you leave the company.

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https://lmgtfy.com/?q=Why+is+unlimited+pto+a+scam

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Worked for a firm that had this. We did some internal analysis and it was something like 85% of all employees to the same amount of vacation as before unlimited PTO was initiated. So it's really not a huge boost in your total comp package.

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Little more/little less

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It’s not great for the lack of payoff but I think I’m a member of the “adverse selection” team when it comes to unlimited PTO. I was taking off like crazy just bc.

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Took a new role at the end of July this year, have unlimited have already taken 6 days off, if they offer it I’ll use it to the fullest

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Completely depends on culture of the firm and your manager. I’ve seen where they don’t directly say no to time off (because they can’t) but the manager pressures you to not go on vacation. Also was often contacted intentionally on my vacations w a fire drill when I took PTO (this felt a bit intentional to increase my anxiety and punish me for actually going ahead w taking off and try to discourage me from taking off too often). Because the line is not clear on how much time off is too much, managers that don’t want to encourage vacation will ding your reputation and project opportunities if you take it more than other team members (who might be afraid to take any). It comes down to your leader’s thoughts about it and if they see vacation as a favor or if they are more modern and don’t care so long as the work is done. Sadly, many bosses still fit in the first category. As such, unlimited PTO does become grounds for another arbitrary metric on which mangers Can play favorites, rank your performance compared to peers/pass you up for promotion, take power trips, and exasterbate inequality across a firm in actual benefits based on who your manager is.

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One thing all of us are grateful for at Deloitte is that they have to pay us out a fuck ton of pto when they lay us off

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I take about a 4-6 weeks off a year. Taking PTO for us changes out utilization number baseline so that pto doesn’t affect our personal metrics negatively. I actually love it.

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Agree with SC2 - just make sure it works in your favour!

It really depends on the firms culture and staff makeup. If you’re working for a company that has a large presence in Europe, then unlimited PTO is actually good...because all the Europeans take 6-8 weeks off. So they are less likely to look down if you take that much.

Have it and take average 7 weeks a year. As others say it really depends on the culture. Counts against utilization but hasn’t been an issue for me personally.

I'll guess you work for a boutique? 7 weeks a year is insane (I would literally quit today to have something where 7 weeks is acceptable) and there's no way you'd survive if you were a manager or below at a big 4, that's like 70% util

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Then what's stopping you from taking a day off each week and making 4-day work week?

Because most companies will ding you for those 8 hours under unlimited PTO, taking a major hit to utilization.. a major part of the scam.. unless you're getting your 40 hours in 4 days.

100%

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