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Is 4 Weeks of Paid Time Off (PTO) Good?

Is 4 Weeks of PTO Competitive?Is 4 Weeks of PTO Competitive?
min read
August 21, 2023

As an employer, you want to do everything you can to take care of your employees—and that includes making sure they have ample PTO to cover vacation time, personal days, or any other time they may need to take off.

But the question is—how much paid time off is enough? Is your PTO policy more or less competitive than other companies? And if you’re offering your employees four weeks PTO, is that good?

Defining PTO

Before we jump into how much PTO is considered competitive, let’s quickly cover what, exactly, is considered PTO.

PTO is an umbrella term to cover any paid time off you offer your employees. That includes everything from:

There are a number of different ways to structure a corporate PTO policy, including:

Why a competitive PTO plan is important

Now that you know what PTO is, let’s cover why having a competitive PTO plan is so important for your business.

A generous PTO policy is a good move for your business for a few reasons, including:

Is 4 weeks of PTO good?

Clearly, a competitive PTO plan is a good move for your business (and for your employees!). But what, exactly, counts as “competitive?” Is four weeks a good amount of PTO to offer your employees?

The answer is—it depends.

According to a 2019 article from the balance, on average, US employers offer 10 paid holidays, two weeks paid vacation (or, in other words, an additional 10 days), two personal days, and eight days of sick leave. That’s 30 days total—which, in terms of business days, would be six weeks.

From that perspective, offering four weeks of PTO wouldn’t be competitive.

But there are other factors at play. For example, if your team is mostly employees who work less than 20 hours during the work week, they’d typically be entitled to a lower amount of time off or amount of vacation days—and if you offered them four weeks of PTO, it would be considered extremely competitive.

A rule of thumb

Ultimately, you’ll have to make the decision on what the right PTO policy is for your company and your team. But as a rule of thumb, the more generous you can be, the better. At the minimum, you should aim to write a PTO policy into your employee handbook that’s in line with other major employers in your area—and if you can, aim higher than that. Again, the more generous you are with your PTO, the more you’ll be able to attract and retain top talent—and the better off your business will be as a result.

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