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Payroll Tip: Take Back Your Vacation With Structured PTO

Take Back Your Vacation With Structured PTO

Still waiting on that vacation? Summer may be winding down, but the holiday season is still in full swing. If you’ve found yourself stuck in the office filling out employee PTO rather than getting your feet wet at the beach, you’re not alone. Managing employee PTO can be a time-consuming task. However, there may be an easier way to go about it. With a little bit of planning, you can take care of your employees’ PTO — as well as your own — as efficiently as possible.

The first step is adding structure. It doesn’t have to be the same for everyone, but setting up a consistent system to how you grant PTO can help expedite your process. It can also help ensure that the way your employees receive or accrue time-off is not only fair but much easier to track. For example, employees who have been with the company for at least a year may get two weeks off, while employees who have been with the company three to five years get three. Or you may decide to set a baseline accrual rate based on hours worked and years at the company — those with a year or less might accrue four hours every payday, whereas those with two or more years get 4.65 hours — it’s up to you.

But no matter how you choose to structure your PTO, you want to make sure (1) your employees understand and have access to the information — through either online or physical pay stubs and (2) that you’re tracking it correctly.

Which may mean no more spreadsheets.

Relying on manual PTO tracking through spreadsheets not only is time-consuming but can lead to inaccuracies that cause disputes down the road. These issues usually come down to human error, as you are counting on employees to submit their PTO requests properly. You’re also relying on the fact that they are being entered into the system correctly, which may not always be the case. Instead, you may want to consider upgrading to an online system.

Using an online system to help you track PTO automatically can help you stay accurate and up-to-date, as well as make it easy for employees to access information about their PTO whenever they want.

Lastly, however you decide to give out and track PTO, you want to make sure all pay stubs are compliant. This means taking both sick leave and actual vacation time into account and ensuring they’re clearly broken apart on each pay stub. You should also break out the company plan vs. state mandated plan.

This will help keep both you and your employees on the same page. And, hopefully, get you your summer break back.