In the first major PTO study since 2019, PTO solutions leader Sorbet exposes how women, lower incomes workers, and Gen Z are losing the PTO battle
- 55% of PTO goes unused by employees versus 28% unused in 2019.
- On average, male employees receive 10% more PTO days in their contracts than women and also take 33% more days off than their female coworkers.
- Women are 27% more comfortable than men to take sick days but are 19% less comfortable taking PTO.
- Lower income workers take 52% less PTO than higher income workers.
- The 55+ age group takes 51% more PTO than the 21-34 age group, who also have the fewest number of PTO days allocated.
- 44% of U.S. employees prefer a hybrid work model, but 31% think it’s harder to take time off when working from home.
NEW YORK, Dec. 13, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Sorbet, a PTO solutions platform, released the results of a comprehensive survey focusing on the status of paid time off (PTO) of American employees and employers, the first of its kind done since 2019. The report shines a light on trends across industries, salary, tenure, genders, and more, exposing the PTO crisis for U.S. employees and employers.
The study found that 55% of PTO goes unused by employees, up from 28% in 2019. Many factors impact why employees have been taking less PTO, however work culture is shown to be a significant influence, with 24% of respondents stating they don’t feel comfortable asking their manager for time off and 31% believing it’s harder to take time off when working from home.
The rise in unused PTO poses a huge liability to employers; when employees quit or get laid off, they are entitled to be paid out for their unused days, adding up to $318 billion in total accrued PTO liabilities in the U.S (increased 17% since 2019). With a looming recession, rising salaries due to inflation, and 30% of U.S. workers considering switching jobs in the next year, the risk of unused PTO poses an acute threat to the balance sheet.
The survey also exposed the inequality among men and women in the workplace. On average, male employees receive 10% more PTO days than women in their contracts, and men choose to take 33% more days off than their female coworkers. Meanwhile, women are 27% more comfortable than men to take sick days but are 19% less comfortable taking PTO. Additionally, employees with kids aged 12 and under take 12% less than PTO than employees with older kids and those without any kids.
Sorbet is a one-of-its-kind PTO platform that empowers employees to use time off when needed or cash out the value of their paid days off at any point. Sorbet provides valuable insights into PTO usage and patterns to help companies attract high quality talent, reduce employee turnover, increase productivity and thrive in an economic downturn.
“Paid time off is one of the most underutilized assets employers have at their disposal in the battle to attract and retain talent,” says Veetahl Eliat-Raichel, CEO and co-founder of Sorbet. “In a post-COVID world, employees clearly feel less legitimized and incentivized to take time off which causes a breathtaking loss of value to both employers and employees. Value which should be harnessed towards both the companies’ and the employees’ financial wellbeing.”
Sorbet is a platform that works with companies to cashout employees’ unused vacation days and puts the cash value of their PTO balance on prepaid cards. Not only does this unique perk democratize the way employees can literally “spend” their time off, but it helps employers refinance their liabilities to protect from wage inflation, predict and manage cashflow and free up working capital while retaining happy employees. A true win-win.
Source: Sapio & BLS
Methodology: Sorbet conducted an online survey in July, 2022 with 1345 employees aged 21+, in a representative sample of the US population according to gender, age, region, and income.