HR experts warn against unlimited paid time off

One human resources expert claims that the offer from a company that has an unlimited paid time off plan might not be as exciting as it sounds.

In a now-viral video, TikTok user Amy (@hackyourhr) defined two PTO plans companies typically offer: accrued and unlimited. Amy explained that employees with accrued plans will be compensated for their unused time if they leave the job. However, she said this is not guaranteed for unlimited PTO.

“It saves the company a lot of money if they don’t keep that on their books, the amount of accrued PTO that they have to pay out when someone leaves,” Amy warned.

Amy, who has an accrued plan, urged viewers interviewed at workplaces with unlimited PTO to ask how workers are encouraged to take time off throughout the year.

“The best companies I’ve seen that have unlimited free time call it flexible,” Amy advised. “[They] offer a financial incentive if you take at least five days at a time.”

@hackyourhr Accrued PTO > Unlimited #hackyourhr #corporate ♬ Original sound – Amy | Hack your HR department

According to the BBC, office culture can be a big factor in how much free time an employee takes. Several companies have eliminated unlimited PTO after realizing that employees were taking less time off than with a fixed schedule.

Despite this, many viewers gathered in the comments section of Amy’s video to praise Unlimited PTO.

“My company offers unlimited PTO,” wrote one user. “My [management] promotes at least 4 weeks a year. I need more than 30 days lol.”

“Unlimited PTO is the best thing invented!” another lauded. “My company encourages it and never denies a day I want it.”

Some viewers even pointed out the pitfalls in accumulated plans.

“I accumulated. Took me 5 months to accumulate 3 days had to use these when MY FATHER DIED b/c no bereavement. I’ll take it indefinitely,” shared one viewer.

Others, however, stood firmly on the side of accrued vacation policies.

“I refuse to take a job with unlimited PTO,” objected one user. “My job has 4 weeks accrued PZ and you can accumulate and sell back up to 600 hours.”

The Daily Dot contacted Amy via TikTok comment.


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*Initial publication: March 2, 2023 at 7:31 p.m. CST

Brooke Park

Brooke Park is a correspondent for the Daily Dot and a senior journalist at the University of Texas at Austin. Her work has appeared in Texas Monthly, The Dallas Morning News and The Texas Tribune.

Brooke Park HR experts warn against unlimited paid time off

Jaclyn Diaz

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