It’s a new year which means, for many companies, their time off policies, such as vacation and sick, reset back to zero. Based on your company’s policy, employees may have carried over a week or two of unused vacation or PTO time or maybe you have a use-it-or-lose policy where they lost time unused. Regardless of the policy, it’s a new year with new accruals effective January 1st. Good tracking and record keeping of time off will help manage the program for abuse, use and when it comes time to either pay out due to a termination or calculate the year end carryovers, you’ll have accurate information. Here are some tips to keep your time off records on track:
There should be a system where employees request time off, time is approved by the supervisor and then tracked. A Time Off Request Form can be one way to facilitate this process. Also, many companies are turning to online systems where this can all be done automatically. If you’re going the electronic route, make sure employees and supervisors know how the system works and know what they’re supposed to be inputting.
Review balances regularly. Stay on top of abuse rather than having it creep up on you when it’s too late. Abuse typically comes when employees are taking more sick time than allotted or more vacation than they’ve currently earned. It’s good to have a program in place where employees are not allowed to take paid time beyond what they’ve earned.
Educate employees about your time off policy. Many employees haven’t read your Employee Handbook since they were hired. Remind employees about what they eligible for with regard to sick, vacation and holiday time and how they should be requesting and tracking their time.