Vacation time should be combined with sick time

At work, should your allotted vacation days and sick days be combined, or managed separately?

  • Keep them separate!

    Votes: 462 70.6%
  • Combine them!

    Votes: 192 29.4%

  • Total voters
    654
  • Poll closed .
Oct 25, 2017
2,860
They need to be seprate.

Otherwise people will come into offices sick so they can save their time.

The point of sick leave isn't for the sick person, its for everyone else.
 
Dec 28, 2017
52
My state recently passed a "Paid Sick Leave Law" but they made sure to exclude PTO pools so guess what companies are starting to do to avoid paying for sick time. I think they should be separate with an unlimited sick day pool. I worked at a place like this and no one ever came to work sick. It was awesome. Then I left and went somewhere with a pool of PTO and everyone was sick because they wanted to go on vacation.
 
Oct 25, 2017
669
Yeah no. I’ve got unlimited sick days and can call in sick to preserve vacation days if I get sick on holiday. Just fix your stupid system America.
 
Oct 28, 2017
1,482
My workplace probably handles this better than most.

Our sick days and PTO are separate pools that both accrue at different rates. If someone runs out of sick days to use, it then begins to deduct from their general purpose PTO pool. Of course, all of this is up to the discretion of your supervisor and I frequently let members on my team take free days off for extended illnesses/surgery specifically so it doesn't chip away at their PTO. The company policy is technically very strict but they defer so much authority to the individual managers that it never really becomes an issue.
 
Oct 27, 2017
4,137
What the fuck. Is this yet another American corporate thing? I don't even understand the concept. You have unlimited sick days in Sweden, after a few weeks you just need a doctor's notice. Your first sick day is unpaid, any consequetive sick day after that gives you 80% of your salary. System works great, it prevents people from just staying home one day but allows people to stay home for several days if they're truly sick.
 
Oct 25, 2017
704
West Coast, USA
obviously combining is best as it allows for far more flexibility. Companies that keep the sick time separate from vacation time are just trying to insert a barrier to keep you from using it, or at least make you use less of it (probably hoping you cap out and stop accumulating it so they save money.)

If a job has a PTO system instead of partitioning the sick and vacation days apart... chances are that that is a better job on the whole in terms of benefits and employee treatment. Just my experience.

I get the arguments in favor of a sick time policy (hoping people use it instead of coming in sick, etc.) that may be true too, but that's certainly not how I operate. I mean people come in when they are sick anyway, cause they think they aren't "sick enough" -- happens ALL the time.
 

knch

Member
Oct 30, 2017
130
Doesn't everybody have paid holidays? (even in the US)
That's what you get from my message?

Not that I have 30 PAID vacation days, 20 of which I have a free choice in regardless, 10 of which aren't a free choice, unless they fall on weekends. And practically unlimited sick days, maternity and paternity leave for those incline to breeding, ...

Also, I'm pretty sure there's a shit hole of a country that shafts their populace even harder than the US does and doesn't have paid holidays. (Guyana has no paid holidays.)
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,820
Where I work the sick days and vacation days are the same thing. People come in with the flu and get everyone else sickso that they can take a bigger vacation later. Sweet system.
 
Nov 11, 2017
1,017
Florida
No thank you. As much as I liked my last job you got 15 PTO blanket days that could be used for anything whether it was sick or vacation. And it sucked. Caught the flu? Tough shit - guess you're not taking a real vacation this year. And then when California made 3 days of sick time mandatory we lost three of the PTO days and got 3 sick days instead keeping the total at 15.

Now I'm in a different job where I earn 1 month of vacation a year with a free 1-2 weeks paid for Christmas (depending when the holiday falls - this year it's 12 days). I earn 2.6 weeks (@ 40/week) of sick time a year. Granted, I work for the state/government but combining those days is not something I want. And, thankfully, both vacation and sick time can rollover so I don't have to worry about losing them.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,662
I'm sitting on 16 sick days that I have to use randomly (and lie about being sick) because I don't get sick much (2 sick days used in the past 3 years).

At my old job, vacation time and sick time were combined and it was great! I had 32 vacation days each year because of that.

It should just be a "paid time off" bucket for you to use as you see fit.

What do you think?
NO.

In general just because you have sick time doesn't mean you should use it. It is there as a in case, and in many companies cases the sick time is a rolling 12, and it is used in conjunction with short term disability.

I don't want any company conflating sick time and pto/vacation. They should always be separate. Because otherwise they will give you less overall.

Back to my original point, very often sick time is used when you are out extended periods. You should check your companies policies, because you aren't supposed to use all your sick time. It really just sounds like you'd rather have a better vacation days policy.
 
Oct 25, 2017
88
I used to work at a place that had unlimited PTO but no sick days. The issue being that if you got sick and there were no empty slots to take paid time off that week you had to choose between going into work sick or getting written up for missing work (even with a doctor's note).
 
Aug 6, 2018
1,161
Eh...theres reasons for the separation. As someone else said companies are required to pay you out for vacation time if you leave, but not your sick time.

Second, splitting them up makes it a lot easier to control callouts. When sick and PTO are in the same "bucket" employees can call out 14, 21, or even 30 or more times that year because they're "sick."

Putting a cap on "sick" time tends to reserve callouts for actual emergencies
 
Oct 25, 2017
9,872
What the fuck. Is this yet another American corporate thing? I don't even understand the concept. You have unlimited sick days in Sweden, after a few weeks you just need a doctor's notice. Your first sick day is unpaid, any consequetive sick day after that gives you 80% of your salary. System works great, it prevents people from just staying home one day but allows people to stay home for several days if they're truly sick.
Honestly that system is much worse in my opinion. If I was not getting paid for staying home sick I would NEVER take a sick day unless I was having surgery.
 
Oct 27, 2017
808
New York, NY
Ya'll voting for keep them separate are ridiculous - Pooling into "PTO" gives you way greater flexibility. Most companies don't pay out when you leave anyway, so it's pointless to leave separately.

People coming into work sick, is going to happen regardless of whether they have separate days or not, it's impossible behavior to stop, unless people at the top take a stern attitude towards it.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,796
I see no benefit to workers by combining the two.

I prefer accrued time for both vacation and sick, though my company only has accrued time for vacation days, while sick days are "unlimited." But it's really not unlimited. If you take a certain amount of sick days a year, your manager gets an email from HR asking for an explanation, which flows down stream. It's very clearly made to intimidate people and even though we have this "progressive" policy, the culture of the company is now very strongly anti-sick time... Even down to individual employees, where if someone on your team is sick a couple of days, people make comments about it... not necessarily nasty ones, but just... comments, and so it subtly reinforces not taking any sick time.

I am strongly against unlimited vacation too. A lot of companies in my industry (Software) have moved over to unlimited and it's not beneficial to employees at all. I like the idea where I know I have 15 or 20 days, and they're my days, and I can use them, and if I don't use them, then you have to pay me out. With the unlimited time I think it'd start to resemble our sick time policy where employees are subtly reinfroced not to use time. THe data bares this out, of course, too. PEople with unlimited vacation time end up using less of it than with accrued time, and of course, at the end of your employment, your employer is not obligated to pay it out.

At my last job we got 20 days a year (on top of insane vacation where the place was closed, as it was a college), and I usually only used about 15 days a year or so, and so when I left, I left with over 35 days of accrued vacation... And because that's exempt from most of the deductions of your regular pay (as you no longer work there, so you're not paying health insurance, retirement, or other workplace-based deductions from it), it was basically 2 months "extra" salary. Of course, it wasn't "Extra" because it was my time I just didn't use it while working there, but it was nice none the less.

America is fucking weird.
Just a general reminder that OPs company of maybe 30 people or whatever is not a representation of the 320million people or the hundreds of thousands of other companies that make up 'America,' and that many countries in the world have companies that work the same as OPs company.

Of course, I know this happens in every thread too. OP says "I love peanut butter and jelly!" and then some person from Denmark or somewhere comments how Americas fucking weird, because where are the prawns!?
 
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Oct 25, 2017
2,659
Combining them is a terrible idea because all it does is encourage people to come into work sick in order to save their vacation time
EXACTLY, and this happens and is awful because then everyone gets sick and now you've got added net expense, lower net health, higher insurance, etc.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,964
Costa Rica
Where I work at I have unlimited sick days and I get fully paid for all of them. If I have to be absent for like 5 days in a row I just have to properly justify it but that's it.

Not in the US btw.
 
Oct 27, 2017
208
Separate is a much better system, for most of the reasons listed in here. My company used to have a policy that if you got sick while using PTO, you could actually get the PTO refunded.

Now, we have unlimited PTO (with manager approval) and unlimited sick days.
 
Oct 25, 2017
9,292
EXACTLY, and this happens and is awful because then everyone gets sick and now you've got added net expense, lower net health, higher insurance, etc.
my workplace actually used to have combined PTO/sick time and broke them off into separate things almost entirely because of this problem
 
Oct 25, 2017
9,872
It's only the first day that you don't get paid. For every day after that you get 80%.
As opposed to 100% pay for 5-10 days a year? I don't see how that is better. In the US if you are sick for more than 5 days straight you can qualify for Short Term Disability benefits which are good for 6-12 months I believe.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,662
Ya'll voting for keep them separate are ridiculous - Pooling into "PTO" gives you way greater flexibility. Most companies don't pay out when you leave anyway, so it's pointless to leave separately.

People coming into work sick, is going to happen regardless of whether they have separate days or not, it's impossible behavior to stop, unless people at the top take a stern attitude towards it.

No it isn't ridiculous, I have over 4 months 100% pay sick time that is also used in case of short/long term disability, and I am currently at 23 total vacation/personal holidays. My company isn't going to pool them and give me equal amounts. They will severely cut back the benefits.

I will lose out on the benefit. Sick time is like insurance, you shouldn't use it unless you need to, and you sure as hell shouldn't have sick time linked to personal time off.
 
Oct 31, 2017
4,078
All of my sick leave is paid time off. Also I don't have a cap on vacation time or sick leave. At some point the amount of vacation can be a liability to your employer though, so I've seen some employers try and come up with plans so employees take their vacation time.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,773
Nottingham, UK
Ya'll voting for keep them separate are ridiculous - Pooling into "PTO" gives you way greater flexibility. Most companies don't pay out when you leave anyway, so it's pointless to leave separately.

People coming into work sick, is going to happen regardless of whether they have separate days or not, it's impossible behavior to stop, unless people at the top take a stern attitude towards it.
No, your point is ridiculous - in the UK you get roughly 6-9 months paid sick leave, then it goes to half pay, then no pay - for long term sickness (happened to a colleague when she had a replacement hip that got infected)

Our 25 days holiday is separate to that for a reason

Just because some countries (looking at you US) mostly have employees by the short and curlies doesn't warrant giving up perfectly decent employee benefits

In the UK you can even self certificate up to a week's worth of work
 
Oct 27, 2017
4,137
As opposed to 100% pay for 5-10 days a year? I don't see how that is better. In the US if you are sick for more than 5 days straight you can qualify for Short Term Disability benefits which are good for 6-12 months I believe.
Read the OP, mate. The dude took 16 sick days even though he weren't even sick. The system clearly doesn't work. If you're actually sick, you're likely going to be sick for more than one day anyway, as most illnesses stay for more than one day.

Sick days aren't supposed to be vacation. They're days you should take to rest when you're actually sick.
 
Oct 25, 2017
9,872
And if the employer is still tracking them, are they really unlimited?
Spot on.
Read the OP, mate. The dude took 16 sick days even though he weren't even sick. The system clearly doesn't work. If you're actually sick, you're likely going to be sick for more than one day anyway, as most illnesses stay for more than one day.

Sick days aren't supposed to be vacation. They're days you should take to rest when you're actually sick.
Right, that's why the majority of people in the poll are saying they should be separate and think OP is wrong.

To your second point, sick days combined with a flexible work from home policy is much more effective. I don't need bed rest for multiple days unless I have a severe sickness. I'd rather take 1 fully paid day off to rest then work from home until I'm not contagious as opposed to 1 day unpaid and 2 days at 80% pay.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,817
I almost want to say yes because I just lost out on a lot of sick time because they changed how we are allowed to use them at my office.
 
Oct 27, 2017
4,917
Seattle
I'm sitting on 16 sick days that I have to use randomly (and lie about being sick) because I don't get sick much (2 sick days used in the past 3 years).

At my old job, vacation time and sick time were combined and it was great! I had 32 vacation days each year because of that.

It should just be a "paid time off" bucket for you to use as you see fit.

What do you think?
Our work found that the amount of unplanned absences and sick use dropped once they combined them into PTO, people were using their sick leave basically as a back up PTO.
 
Oct 27, 2017
4,917
Seattle
I could get behind that. The worst is when companies pay out PTO when you leave, but not sick time... if I got a new offer I’d probably mysteriously get the flu before putting in my 2 weeks
I had banked more than 600 hours of sick leave, which I could only use if i was out longer than 3 days (all of our unused sick leave went into this extended illness bank), when they combined those into PTO

I ended up using those 600 hours as ‘paternity’ since we don’t have paid paternity.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,100
I don’t understand. Why would you do that. If I’m sick on vacation I get that vacation days back. When I’m sick I’m sick there’s no limit to being sick. And my vacation days are mine alone.
 

marzoo

Banned
Member
Jun 1, 2018
877
No, in a third world country you get no paid time off.
There is no federal or state statutory minimum paid vacation or paid public holidays.

In the majority of nations, including all industrialised nations except the United States, advances in employee relations have seen the introduction of statutory agreements for minimum employee leave from work—that is the amount of entitlement to paid vacation and public holidays.

america is literally the only industrialsed country that has no minimum for paid leave.

the United States Department of Labor does not provide a legal minimum for paid annual leave — it's completely up to the employer to decide.
 

GSG

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,271
We have unlimited sick days(within reason) on top of a specific amount of vacation days, it works out well because people who are actually sick take the day off. My wife has unlimited vacation and sick days(again within reason), but she still gets paid out for vacation days if she doesn't use up to 3 weeks of vacation. I would rather have either of those two than combining limited sick and vacation days.

Sick days shouldn't be limited in the first place IMO
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,326
I'm sitting on 16 sick days that I have to use randomly (and lie about being sick) because I don't get sick much (2 sick days used in the past 3 years).

At my old job, vacation time and sick time were combined and it was great! I had 32 vacation days each year because of that.

It should just be a "paid time off" bucket for you to use as you see fit.

What do you think?
Mental health days, fam.
 
Oct 25, 2017
604
My wife's employer does this and it honestly sucks - instead of getting paid holidays it's just subtracted from her PTO bank which is super lame.

On the other hand, I accrue 8 hours of sick time a month, and 14 hours of vacation a month - on top of paid holidays which don't come out of my paid time, and to top it off I get a fat bonus every year because my employer caps my total sick time and pays out the time I don't take that goes over the cap.
 
Oct 27, 2017
200
Where I am from if you get sick during a vacation (and can verify it with a doctor's note) you get to have the vacation refunded.
(You can take an additional vacation with the days you lost).
 
Nov 16, 2017
1,201
I'm lucky my company gives me 20 vacation days (been here a long time) and 10 sick days. I have a feeling if they combined them, I'd get a lot less. Now i barely get sick and my last sick day, I worked from home but I like having those days incase something awful happens.
 
Oct 25, 2017
9,872
There is no federal or state statutory minimum paid vacation or paid public holidays.

In the majority of nations, including all industrialised nations except the United States, advances in employee relations have seen the introduction of statutory agreements for minimum employee leave from work—that is the amount of entitlement to paid vacation and public holidays.

america is literally the only industrialsed country that has no minimum for paid leave.

the United States Department of Labor does not provide a legal minimum for paid annual leave — it's completely up to the employer to decide.
That is somewhat of a State's rights thing. Many states have laws about paid sick time and what it can be used for. In terms of vacation time, the vast vast majority of companies do provide a minimum of 2 weeks so while there is no federal mandate, any company looking for skilled labor could not get away with that.
 
Oct 27, 2017
855
After 5 years of working at my current job I’m sitting on 394 hours of sick time. I don’t get sick much either and I only occasionally use them for an extra day off. They are earned and worth something though. They should be kept separate though as accrual time is different (vacation increases with seniority) and there are some additional differences with how they are cashed out at the end. Provides more flexibility in contract negotiations as well.