Paid personal days are time off from work that an organization voluntarily provides employees as a benefit. The number of paid personal days is often accrued by employees based on years of service to the organization and the level of their position. Hours of paid personal days are often accrued over the calendar year, although most companies allow employees to use paid personal days before accrual.
Other companies, however, keep paid personal days simple - every employee receives the same number of paid personal days. Paid personal days are used to provide employees time off from work for reasons that may include activities such as parent-teacher conferences, voting, preparing for a family holiday party, visiting healthcare professionals for preventive treatment, and so forth. Personal days are just that – personal, and are used at the employee’s discretion.
Paid personal days are normally part of an employer’s comprehensive benefits package and supplement other paid time off such as paid sick days, paid vacation days, and paid holidays. As part of this package, employers provide two-three paid personal days a year. Paid personal days are paid at an employee’s normal base salary or hourly wage.
Employers have guidelines about when employees may use paid personal days. These guidelines often entail a process for requesting paid personal days off that gives the organization as much advanced notice as possible, except in an emergency situation. Additionally, managerial approval of time off for paid personal days depends on the needs of the department and the organization.
Paid personal days must generally be used during the year for which they were allotted with no carry-over into the next calendar year. If an employee leaves the company, unused paid personal days are not eligible for payout at employment termination. When an employee misses work because of reasons such as illness, jury duty, military service, bereavement, or vacation, paid personal days are not used. These absences are generally covered in other company policies and guidelines.
Currently, organizations are moving away from company policies that allot categories of paid time off such as paid sick days, personal days, vacation days, and holidays. Companies opt, instead, for a paid time off (PTO) policy that folds sick days, vacation days, and personal days into one bank of days that employees use at their discretion. PTO also provides these benefits.
- enables employers to treat employees as adults capable of making paid time off decisions,
- minimizes the use by employees of unplanned paid time off from work, and
- simplifies paid time off and recordkeeping for both employers and employees.
There are no Federal laws in the US that require an employer to offer paid personal days as a benefit, but employers of choice offer employees paid personal days either alone or rolled into PTO as part of a comprehensive benefits package.