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 .
OP
OP
TreadTalks
Oct 28, 2017
1,353
United States
Lol how is this something you have to complain about?
Haha it’s mainly because I was exposed to (and benefited from) having a combined pool of “paid time off” for years:

28 days of paid time off
4 days of unpaid time off
10 observed holidays
2 floating holidays (extra holiday days to be used randomly as you saw fit)

Now I’m in a new job and it’s:

15 days of paid time off
15 paid sick days (of which I use maybe 1 every couple of years)
10 observed holidays

Going from 44 days off to 25 feels like such a downgrade.

BUT someone mentioned “mental health” days, which I didn’t think of before as a valid sick day reason... so if i can use those from time to time that’d be great.
 
Oct 30, 2017
631
I can see it both ways. My wife used to get more off time because it was combined but she lost it at the end of the year.

I would like to be able to use sick time as vacation but my boss is good about letting us use sick time for non-sickness related emergencies so it's mostly fine. And in addition to that whenever I retire I can either cash out my sick days or use it as worktime credit so my pension is a little bigger.
 
OP
OP
TreadTalks
Oct 28, 2017
1,353
United States
I can see it both ways. My wife used to get more off time because it was combined but she lost it at the end of the year.

I would like to be able to use sick time as vacation but my boss is good about letting us use sick time for non-sickness related emergencies so it's mostly fine. And in addition to that whenever I retire I can either cash out my sick days or use it as worktime credit so my pension is a little bigger.
The part about cashing out sick days would change my opinion. Then it’s fair.
 
Oct 27, 2017
180
Sweden
To those saying unlimited sick days, be honest, how many Fridays have you taken "sick"?
None that I can remember, I like my job and don't feel stressed because I'm overworked that I have to fool my employer to get some time off. I'm taking Friday the 21st off as a vacation day though. Gonna travel up to visit family for the holidays and I don't want to go late in the evening or on Saturday. My boss or manager has never declined a vacation day in the eight years I've worked there.
 
Apr 10, 2018
859
I get 10 days of vacation a year and 3 personal days to do whatever. That said, my boss is really cool about being able to come in late, stay late, etc. if I need to go to a doctor's appointment or whatever.
 
OP
OP
TreadTalks
Oct 28, 2017
1,353
United States
But they weren't having a day off, they were sick. Whereas people complaining didn't get sick...amuse yourselves I guess lol
I mean, you’re not wrong. :-)

Edit: Wait, the people complaining didn’t get sick, true, but instead they had to work. When my wife gets sick and she takes a sick day because she has a fever, she manages the symptoms and has a nice relaxing day of rest. :-P
 
Dec 4, 2017
789
Texas
The last company I worked for combined them as a slow strategy to whittle down our benefits.

First they combined sick time and vacation into generic PTO, then they eliminated rollover hours and made PTO "use it or lose it", then they took away something like 5 PTO days worth of hours from all employees and replaced them with some bullshit "fixed holidays" that essentially force everyone to take off stuff like Flag Day etc, then they severely limited the max number of unspent PTO you could cash in on at the end of the year.

Shortly after that I got caught in layoffs. I've been working at my new company as a contractor for 2.5 years though, and they don't provide ANY VACATION OR SICK TIME AT ALL, so if you get sick or need time off you lose the pay.

Luckily I start a new full-time job on Monday that will provide me with sick days, vacation, awesome insurance, and flexible hours. They're on the small side so hopefully they don't pull the same stuff as the last company.
 
Oct 30, 2017
631
Some of it also depends on your situation. My wife gets 50% more vacation time than I do but because she works for a corporation and I work for municipal government I get a lot of holidays off that she doesn't. So my relatively paltry 12 days a year aren't ultimately that bad (for America at least).

And again, I will get an actual pension and could potentially get my sick days cashed out AND I have partially subsidized short-term disability through the city so I'm doing well.
 
Nov 3, 2017
4,870
Portland, OR
I like it being separated like that in case an emergency happens or if my family is sick. It kind of just piles up but my workplace is very lenient and accommodating. No doctors notes or anything.
This is my thought. If they’re combined then there’s just an expectation that you use vacation time for sick leave if something particularly bad happens.
 

Faiz

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,033
Some places, it is combined (United States). Also, lots of workers don't get sick time.

If they did combine them, we'd probably just get less of both.
When my wife’s employer combined theirs, this is exactly what happened.

Although she was already getting so much she barely noticed the difference.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,795
Some places, it is combined (United States). Also, lots of workers don't get sick time.

If they did combine them, we'd probably just get less of both.
The entire US does not have combined sick and vacation time. Unless you mean, “some places in the United States have combined”


“Of course”? You can’t be American right?
some Americans get paid sick
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,773
Nottingham, UK
I mean, you’re not wrong. :-)

Edit: Wait, the people complaining didn’t get sick, true, but instead they had to work. When my wife gets sick and she takes a sick day because she has a fever, she manages the symptoms and has a nice relaxing day of rest. :-P
She's still ill enough to not be at work though. I'd rather be at work than ill enough to warrant missing work
 
Oct 26, 2017
246
I don't think combining them makes much sense as you'll have people still going to work when they are sickish. But then again having sick days at all sounds weird (although at my company there informally is something sort of similar).
To those saying unlimited sick days, be honest, how many Fridays have you taken "sick"?
I've taken one sick day in the past two and a half years and I think it was a Wednesday.

So...0.
 
Nov 15, 2017
1,857
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?
You only have 16 vacation days? Wtf.
 
Oct 25, 2017
802
As someone who has both combined and once had them separate....I vote separate. Of course before they combined them, we got paid for any remaining sick days at the end of the year. Since I used vacation time for any time I took off, I got a nice 2 week pay check at the end of the year. But my company got cheap, combined them both and now we don't get paid for left overs.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,129
I take sick days all the time. Whenever I feel sick of work, bam! call out. It has done wonders for my personal mental health. I banked all my sick days my first year at my job like a fucking chump. No reason to do it, no one gives a shit except for the dorks who pride themselves on perfect attendance. I don’t think I have actually gotten legitimately sick all year.

I usually call out once a month, usually on a Friday or Monday. Everyone knows what the game is but no one really cares.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,386
Feels like I get the worst. My sick time eats into my vacation time. If I call in sick, my vacation time is subtracted. It takes weeks to generate a day of vacation so it really sucks.
 

Ikuu

Member
Oct 27, 2017
896
Why does that deserve a wtf? Even in companies with generous policies, most people don't bother taking more than two weeks off a year. Vacationing is expensive.
You don't need to go somewhere every time you have time off work.
 
Dec 5, 2018
96
Flexitime is rad, although everywhere I've worked has just been really relaxed about it than that.

Also 5.6 weeks holiday a year is the legal minimum in the UK. Usually 8 or so of those are bank holidays, depending on where you work. Your 5 weeks + 12 "extra" days is still pretty high though! But government jobs usually are.
It was my first proper job when I hit 18, which is now 12 years ago.
I was the group after the government jobs started getting reduced to fixed term contracts and the like, my parents generation got civil service jobs they lasted for life!
 
Oct 30, 2017
818
Wisconsin
We just have one PTO bank. There can still be consequences for unscheduled PTO though if a pattern/trend is observed (which usually relates to calling in sick).

Combining them makes sense because all sick time did was ensure you got paid for that day. It didn't impact whether or not you could face reprimand for calling in all of the time. Plus if you are like me I never used those sick days so the time just sat/was wasted.

At least being combined with PTO I have better option/higher chance of using it.
 

gozu

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,343
America
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?
I envy your good health. If you want the sick days to stay out of work, then lie and enjoy them. I won't rat you out.

At my job, sick days are unlimited. We still work, we just do it from bed. Thank god for computers and the internet.
 
Jan 11, 2018
201
I have unlimited sick days* (*stipulation: any more than two days in a row will require a doctor's visit and evidence of visit, not evidence of you being "chronically ill" but that you're taking medication to hasten the recovery process). On top of that, I get 32 days of vacation per year (cannot take more than 10 days in a row - two business weeks, however). Nothing carries over; on Jan 1st - everything gets reset to the default.

I'm going to miss this, as I'm changing jobs in March. :/
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,972
The Cyclone State
Best places have no "sick" time nor do you have to use vacation. You just stay home sick. Admittedly it only works with salary jobs, but that's how our office is. I don't have to burn vacation when I'm sick.
 
Oct 27, 2017
189
Limited amount of paid sick days? Combined with vacation days? Wtf? I have 30 days of paid vacation. I also have basically unlimited sick days separated from this, where the first day is not paid but the following ones are.
 
Nov 6, 2017
95
At my job, you can actually get vacation days back if I become sick during my vacation. I don't know anyone who actually ever used that though.
 
Oct 27, 2017
607
My company combines them.. I get sick maybe 1-2 days a year so I like it. Though it sucks having to use pto for snow days and stuff like that.
Started out with 15 days of PTO per year but it goes up every year so now I get 19 and have 3 weeks saved up currently. Also 2 floating holidays per year.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,552
I get 25 annual leave days and as many sick days as I need... Because you know if you're sick you're sick and if you're not you're not. I have taken about 3 or 4 sick days in the past 3 years I think.
 
Oct 26, 2017
821
16 of those kinds of days isn't enough? Your jobs are so stressful that you have to take more than a day off a month?
I love my job, it's a great 8-4 job with breakfast and lunch included (both the time and the meals) and it's not that stressful but for a few weeks every year. But my job is not my life. I take as many sick days as I need (if you're sick, you're sick), yet I think I've only taken 1 in the last three years. I take 22 work days off (paid) a year in any way I see fit and there are 14 national/regional/local paid days off a year.

If I could get more, I would. If I could triple them, I would.

I would just jog, or read more books, or ride my bike, or spend the day at the beach if the weather is nice, or have a drink or a nice meal with friends. I would enjoy life that way, but I understand if you have a different way of life or priorities. It's all good.
 
OP
OP
TreadTalks
Oct 28, 2017
1,353
United States
I love my job, it's a great 8-4 job with breakfast and lunch included (both the time and the meals) and it's not that stressful but for a few weeks every year. But my job is not my life. I take as many sick days as I need (if you're sick, you're sick), yet I think I've only taken 1 in the last three years. I take 22 work days off (paid) a year in any way I see fit and there are 14 national/regional/local paid days off a year.

If I could get more, I would. If I could triple them, I would.

I would just jog, or read more books, or ride my bike, or spend the day at the beach if the weather is nice, or have a drink or a nice meal with friends. I would enjoy life that way, but I understand if you have a different way of life or priorities. It's all good.
YES. Especially "my job is not my life."
 

Zoe

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,310
Haha...yeah it is sometimes

Also you're missing the idea of taking a Friday or Monday and getting yourself a long weekend
Many corporate jobs in the US already give you three day weekends throughout the year without touching your PTO (the best years are when July 4th and Christmas are right next to the weekend). Public service gives you even more.
 

gozu

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,343
America
Hehe thanks for keeping it on the downlow.

The limitation with the "lie and enjoy approach" is that you can't pre-schedule or take an extended amount.
See that's where you're wrong my friend.

You buy the plane tickets, book the hotel for two weeks, pack your bags, then on friday night you come down with pneumonia and you're bedridden for two weeks.

Just don't post any pics to your social media, or tell any coworkers about your vacation, and you're golden!

Like the spaniards say: Con dos cojones!
 
OP
OP
TreadTalks
Oct 28, 2017
1,353
United States
See that's where you're wrong my friend.

You buy the plane tickets, book the hotel for two weeks, pack your bags, then on friday night you come down with pneumonia and you're bedridden for two weeks.

Just don't post any pics to your social media, or tell any coworkers about your vacation, and you're golden!

Like the spaniards say: Con dos cojones!
I legitimately laughed out loud. :)