Weekend Poll Results: Your PTO, Annual Leave or Vacation Time

Much like a rose, a vacation by any other name would smell as sweet! 

With thanks to all who participated, here are the results of my latest weekend poll. Our focus: How much paid vacation time do you have each year?

Almost a third of you enjoy 30 days or more each year

… and 77% of respondents reported that they have 20 or more days of paid vacation time each year. In many cases, the number of paid vacation days rises in increments, according to a defined scale; that’s the case for half the people who participated in this Weekend Poll. In other cases, though, federal governments have passed legislation to impact vacation thresholds.

 

How does it vary by sector?

I asked people who are eligible for more than 15 days of paid vacation time to describe the sector in which they work. While I thought the public sector might top the list, I was wrong; 49% of respondents reported that they work in the private sector.

 

Unlimited vacation time

It may be difficult to imagine, but that’s the case for some respondents. In other cases, people have a set number of paid vacation days and their employer closes over bank or religious holidays – but pays employees as though they were there. When you think about the costs of maintaining buildings’ heating, cooling and other mechanical systems over the holidays, this can make a great deal of sense.

 

Carrying over (porting, or transferring) unused days from one year to another

While 45.5% of respondents said they use all available vacation time each year, 48.5% said they don’t. The good news is that the majority of these people are able to carry (transfer) those some or all of their unused vacation days over to the next year. A small percentage reported that their workplace has a , “Use it or lose it” policy.

 

Why not negotiate next time you receive a job offer?

A mere 18% of respondents reported that they’d tried to negotiate vacation entitlements upward from what was originally offered. Why? In some cases, entitlements are prescribed and there is no wiggle room. Depending on your environment, though, it doesn’t hurt to ask; you may be able to negotiate an entitlement that might otherwise not be available to you until you’ve been on the job two to five years. I’ve done so, and am glad I did. Check the data below for the full results on this poll.

THE DATA

Note: Information below reflects the percentage of respondents who selected specific responses from multiple choice options.  In instances where more than one person offers similar responses to an open ended question, I typically cluster or paraphrase such responses rather than duplicating all of them.

On an annual basis, how many days of paid vacation time are available to you each year?

  • 36 – 40 days: 5% of respondents
  • 31 – 35 days: 12% of respondents
  • 30 days: 14% of respondents
  • 26 – 29 days: 10% of respondents
  • 25 days: 16% of respondents
  • 21 – 24 days: 14% of respondents
  • 20 days: 6% of respondents
  • 16 – 19 days: 0% of respondents
  • 15 days: 10% of respondents
  • 14 days: 2% of respondents
  • 10 days: 1% of respondents
  • 10% of respondents selected “Other”. These readers commented as follows.
    • four
    • unlimited
    • initially two weeks and then one additional day for each year of service
    • 41 with an option to buy a further 10 days
    • 25 days + we are closed over Christmas, which gives us another 5-7 days
    • Includes 30 days + religious + government holidays in Hessen
    • Includes bank holidays
    • 25 days +8 bank hols + 1 day to be taken over Xmas period + can trade up 5 days

 

Is the amount of paid vacation time for which you’re eligible reflective of your length of service with your employer?  

  • 50% of respondents: Yes – the number of paid vacation days rises in increments, according to a defined scale
  • 32% of respondents: No – it’s more reflective of my employer’s benefits/compensation package
  • 7% of respondents: No – it’s more reflective of the position I hold
  • 11% of respondents selected “Other”. These readers commented as follows.
    • It’s a lawful agreement in (my country) / No, it is reflective of the law of the land / No; it reflects the national standard / Australians receive four weeks per year
    • I negotiated. It should only be two weeks. / I negotiated additional vacation time before starting; (adhering to the policy, it) would have been only 10, not 15, days
    • It depends on your contract, and whether you work full time or part time
    • For admins, it tops out at 20 days whereas other (employee classifications) get more
    • There is no policy. It is kind of whatever the owner decides when you are hired.
    • Company policy

 

What is the maximum number of annual paid vacation days you could accrue in your position? 

  • 36 – 40 days: 12% of respondents
  • 31 – 35 days: 14.5% of respondents
  • 26 – 30 days: 20% of respondents
  • 21 – 25 days: 18% of respondents
  • 16 – 20 days: 12% of respondents
  • 15 days: 2% of respondents
  • 10 days: 1% of respondents
  • 5 days: 6% of respondents
  • 14.5% of respondents selected “Other”. These readers commented as follows.
    • 20 days, with 10 years of service
    • 28 days
    • 6 weeks / 30, but I currently have 60 leave days
    • unlimited
    • A few respondents included notes about how much vacation time they could carry over.

 

Do you typically use all the vacation time to which you’re entitled to each year?  

  • 45.5% of respondents: Yes
  • 45.5% of respondents: No – but I can carry over some or all of my unused vacation time to the next year
  • 3% of respondents: No – and those days are gone for good; they can not be carried over to the next year
  • 6% of respondents selected “Other”. These readers commented as follows.
    • It should be taken until the the last day of March the following year.
    • Unlimited (vacation time), so N/A
    • Use it or lose it policy – so I use it!
    • (I) could carry over some unused days
    • No, but I can be paid for any remaining days

 

If you’re eligible for more than 15 days of paid vacation time each year, describe your sector.

  • 49% of respondents: Private sector (including the banking/financial/insurance sectors)
  • 23% of respondents: Public sector (including government)
  • 16% of respondents: Not for Profit (NFP) sector
  • 8% of respondents: Higher education (reflects adjustment of 2% of people who selected “Other” before I added higher education as a category)
  • 4% of respondents selected “Other”. These readers commented as follows.
    • Here in Germany, it’s lawfully required / it’s agreed
    • Sports NGB
    • Pharma company
    • University – though, despite what people think, we are not closed over the summer

 

Did you negotiate your vacation entitlement upward from what was originally offered to you?  

  • No: 78% of respondents
  • Yes: 12% of respondents
  • I tried, but without success: 6% of respondents
  • 4% of respondents selected “Other”. These readers commented as follows.
    • Here in Germany, it’s fixed in your job contract plus it reflects the law
    • (I) negotiated for 5 additional days; got 15 instead of 10
    • It’s not negotiable / It’s standard across the organisation

 

4 Comments on “Weekend Poll Results: Your PTO, Annual Leave or Vacation Time

  1. It would be interesting to see how leave entitlement varies from country to country.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agreed, Charlotte. However, while responses show that some countries legislate minimum requirements, admin. professionals in another given country may see a range of entitlements depending on job title, length of service with an employer, and sector. It is an interesting conversation, though.

      Like

  2. This is a great survey – would love to have seen a comparative to a decade ago & then again in 2027.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: