Vacation Time Unused in America

sea-beach-holiday-vacation.jpgHow many vacation days a year do you get at your place of work? Two weeks, none, or unlimited?

Today’s topic is paid leave in the Unites States – are American workers using their much-deserved time off? Research indicates that most Americans only take about two weeks off per year.

According to research from Project: Time Off, “By forfeiting vacation days, American workers gave up $66.4 billion in 2016 benefits alone. That means that last year employees effectively donated an average of $604 in work time to their employer.”

Why is this so important? The Project’s GfK survey data showed that: “Unused vacation days cost the U.S. economy $236 billion in 2016, due to lost spending. That spending would have supported 1.8 million American jobs and generated $70 billion in additional income for American workers. If the 54 percent of workers who left time unused in 2016 took just one more day off, it would drive $33 billion in economic impact.”

Not only does this have an economic effect on the country, it also takes a mental toll on the workers and their companies. Colleen Kane for Fortune writes: “when people don’t take time off to reset, their resulting stress and burnout can be detrimental to both workers and their employers.”

The benefits for employers for so-called “unlimited” vacation policies are illustrated in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal: “Employers say they like the policies because they can minimize staff burnout. It doesn’t hurt that they can save on costs, as the policies mean they no longer pay employees who leave the company for unused vacation days.” On the other hand, “unlimited vacation time isn’t a perfect solution to an overworked workforce. Employees can become more hesitant to take time off when they’re allowed to do it any time—and for as long as they desire.”

What do you think? Would you take unlimited vacation if it was offered? Or would you find it difficult to be away from the workplace?

Unlimited Vacation Time is a Lot of Work

Why Americans Just Won’t Take Time Off

The State of The American Vacation 2017

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Project: Time Off

Pay Transparency

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Do you know how much money your coworkers are making? Would you want to know?

Pay transparency has been a hot topic in the news recently, due to legislation requiring corporations to disclose pay rates for their employees broken down by gender and race. However, many are using online sites such as Glassdoor and Indeed to look up median salaries by company, position, and location.

A New York Times article from last week by Jena McGregor outlines the growing demand for pay transparency: “Shareholders have pushed technology and financial services companies to release their gender pay gap statistics. More state and local governments have passed pay equity laws, some of which require state contractors to report data or certify they pay men and women the same.” McGregor also interviewed an executive from Glassdoor, who relayed that millennials in particular don’t see discussing salaries as taboo.

Payscale.com defines pay transparency in a different way: “Being more transparent about pay doesn’t have to mean posting everyone’s salary for all to see, though there are some companies that go that far. What it does mean is employees having an understanding of their company’s compensation philosophy, strategies and practices.”

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What do you think? Should salaries be discussed openly in the workplace?

Push for pay transparency grows stronger

What is Pay Transparency and Why Does it Matter?

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