Employers Provide Too Little Time Off and Employee Leave

Time Off Polices at Work

As people take time off around the holidays we in HR tend to think of how much time people are taking. Sometimes you may think that people are getting too much. But I have to admit that I was floored when I read an article about the amount of time employers are giving off in addition to vacation. My first thought was employers are not providing enough leave.

Statistics on Taking leave time

The survey of nearly 4,500 benefit plans covering over 6 million employees across the U.S. revealed that, in addition to vacation days and sick days, employers offered paid time off for:

Death in the family (33.3 %). Employees are granted an average of 3.4 days off. Obviously they have never had to deal with the death of a loved one.

 Jury duty (33%). So much for being good citizens!

 Military leave (17.2%). Am I missing something? I thought this was a law?

 Maternity leave, paternity leave and adoption leave (8.6%). Only 8% for parental time?

 Family illness (5.1%).

Just so you know, I am not some bleeding heart, social liberal. However, I have read all the statistics about the fact that happy employees make more productive employees and productive employees make more money for their companies. And employees are not going to be happy and productive if their employers do not allow some time in their lives to live their lives. So put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Are we Better than this?

The only conclusion I can reach is that too many businesses are just plain heartless. That needs to be changed. Someone make me feel better about businesses and tell me about your time off policies. Someone tell me we are better than this.

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Mike Haberman

Michael (Mike) D. Haberman, SPHR is a consultant, speaker, writer of HR Observations, and co-founder of Omega HR Solutions, Inc. After over 30 years in HR he got tired of the past and focuses here on the Future of HR. Connect with Mike.

Reader Interactions


  1. Jamie says

    Most leave is offered unpaid – that’s what is required of the military. They are given leave and a job when they returned, but it is not paid.



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