‘Psst, buddy, d’ya wanna buy some extra vacation time?’

by on February 4, 2013 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Cafe
vacation

Here’s an idea to help you offer work/life flexibility in an affordable way: let employees buy or sell time off.

Mercer, the big employment consulting firm, says 14% of employers they surveyed allow employees either to buy extra time off or sell their time back to the company if they need cash more than vacation.

More buyers than sellers
Unsurprisingly, employees more often buy time than sell it back. And, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the buy/sell approach doesn’t work equally for all employers. It’s likely to work best if you’ve adopted a PTO bank, and if unused time off is lost at year-end.

But within those constraints, the system can provide a benefit that helps morale and retention, and even gives the employer more scheduling flexibility (in the case of employees selling time back).

A few tips:

  • Make sure you understand the effect of union contracts and state law before implementing a buy/sell system.
  • Limit when employees can buy or sell time – perhaps to your open enrollment period. It’s tough on managers and their schedules if people can buy time off at the drop of a hat.
  • Decide how you’ll handle the reimbursements if employees buy extra time off and then don’t use it.

photo credit: doviende

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