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New Company Programs Let Employees Buy and Sell Vacation Days


Today’s employees generally fall into one of two camps — those who can’t take all their vacation days and those who want more vacation — and companies are increasingly instituting programs to let workers buy and sell their vacation time. Such programs use payroll deductions or credits to reassign paid time off. Can this model help boost recruitment and retention?

Over half of companies — 51 percent, to be exact — offer some form of a paid time off plan, according to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management. That’s up from 42 percent in 2009. Simultaneously, 57 percent of American workers don’t use all of their allotted vacation time.

How have PTO buy-sell programs fared? At financial services provider USAA, 41 percent of workers purchased additional vacation time during the enrollment process last October. That’s up slightly from the 38 percent of employees who did so in 2008. Jeff Weiss, the senior vice president of employee benefits, told the Wall Street Journal that between 11 percent and 12 percent of employees opted to sell their vacation days.

Does your employer offer a PTO? Would you buy or sell vacation days if given the opportunity?

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(Photo credit: Mindaugas Danys/Flickr)

Marissa Brassfield
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