Should the U.S. be Taking Notes from Europe When it Comes to PTO by newtohr

Should the U.S. be Taking Notes from Europe When it Comes to PTO?

Another year comes with new holiday plans. For the majority of American employees, that means knowing how much they can take off between vacation days and personal sick leave without draining their paid time off bank. However, the important question is, is there sufficient time to go around?

In general, workers in the United States take fourteen days off a year, while employees in European countries such as Germany, France, Spain, and the United Kingdom take twenty-four days a year, with a deficit of ten days. This information is based on Skynova, a technology solutions firm.

The deficit in the number of days is not surprising, in view of the fact that the United States does not federally impose or mandate paid time off or PTO holidays or vacations, leaving it up to the good judgment of the workers. On the other hand, in European countries like what we have mentioned above, it needs at least twenty days of holiday or vacation for all workers while the United Kingdom needs twenty-eight days.

In the U.S., employees work if they are expected to. If those who are anticipated to work more and take less time off, they carry it out, according to John Bernasconi, who is Skynova’s project manager. It looked like work was embedded in the culture of the Americans more so than in other nations in the world.

Skynova conducted an assessment of almost 1,000 people all over the United States, and Europe found that in spite of getting lesser days, 70 percent of United States workers felt they obtained sufficient time off from their jobs. 53 percent of Europeans reported feeling contented and happy with their PTO benefit package in the interim

John suggests differing insights and discernments of work-life balance are at play, and one undeniable aspect; workload.

In the same survey conducted by Skynova, they found out that 40 percent of Americans stated that their workload stops them from taking holiday time. In comparison, almost 30 percent of Americans did not feel they could access their sick time for a similar reason. In many countries in Europe, only 24 percent of workers felt that their working schedule affected their accessibility to holiday time, and 17 percent felt the same way about sick time.

According to John Bernasconi,

It is relatively clear that workings schedule is impacting the capability to take time off. He also added that it is not essentially the company or employer or even the boss, but the job that they have.

This still could mean a business’ culture is making it hard for workers to take a day off, in spite of what their paid time off, and leave this benefit to look like. A lot of experts found that it is more concerning for parents who are working in the United States, who want to take benefit of maternity or paternity leave – when they have a company that gives it, according to Bernasconi.

In an interview with a working dad, he commended that he cannot imagine not taking the time to connect with his son and support his wife. He also thinks it created a good bond between him and his job as he felt cared for and appreciated as a worker.

There are no rules assuring paternity or maternity leave in the United States. Only 45 percent of Americans surveyed by the tech company have maternity leave, and only 22 percent have paternity leave. In the European Union, working parents are entitled to four months of leave after giving birth or the adaptation of a child. While in the United Kingdom, mommies are provided as much as 12 months of leave. Thus, according to the research, Europeans have 106 paid days on average of maternity leaves.

On the other hand, due to the worldwide crisis that the world is experiencing at this point, the United States has taken the lead in offering extra sick days and flexible time off.

More than 80 percent of Americans reported that their works have become easier and more relaxed concerning time off, instead of 59 percent of Europeans, according to the research conducted by Skynova.

What is more, about 80 percent of American workers received extra sick time or PTO as an outcome of the pandemic. According to Bernasconi,

We have witnessed a change in businesses and companies in the United States towards accommodating the needs related to health. It is this drastic change to get rid of work, providing workers time off to get checked and tested by the medical expert, allowing them to get back if they are ill, and at the same time allowing them to have more time to take good care of their sick loves ones. At this point, the whole relationship with a job has shifted a lot.

It is a shift that a lot might stick as workers head into another period of the pandemic. And boosts in paid time off and flexible work culture are not just good for employees; on the other hand, they can also breed loyalty to the company when organizations are scrambling to keep teams and workers.

Skynova also discovered that 92 percent of workers who felt appreciated and helped take paid time off also felt pleased and content with their work. Of employees who don’t help and support in using their paid time off, only 59 percent reported feeling content with their work.

According to experts, when workers feel loved and appreciated as human beings, not only as task computers, it enhances not just their work satisfaction but also their whole performance. It may be cliché, but pleased workers are better workers, and this is what every business owner must keep in their mind if they want to thrive and continue doing business.

There are lots of benefits offered by PTO to both companies and workers. 

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