Types of Unlimited PTO Policies
A basic unlimited PTO policy is similar to a normal PTO policy except employees are not given an allotted number of days off. Employees can take as many vacation, sick and mental-health days as they need, as long as they are meeting their performance goals.
This type of policy does not, however, mean an employee can take unplanned time off, except for sick days or similar emergencies. PTO requests must still be approved by a manager as with a traditional PTO or vacation time policy, and your company’s established work schedule or flex-time benefits can remain the same as with traditional PTO.
For some companies, unlimited PTO policies can develop into a results-only workplace environment (ROWE). ROWE differs from a strict unlimited PTO policy in that it gives employees complete freedom to come and go when they wish, as long as they complete assigned tasks on time. ROWE operates with a hybrid of flex-time and unlimited PTO, giving employees a vast amount of freedom in determining their work schedules and the location from which they perform their work.
Studies show that, for the most part, employees with unlimited PTO frequently end up taking about the same amount of time off as employees who have an allotted amount of PTO.
In some cases, employees who have unlimited PTO benefits actually have to be encouraged to take more time off. When unlimited PTO is offered, some employees may be afraid to take “too much,” detracting from the goal of giving employees the guilt-free time off needed to take care of personal or family matters, relax on vacation or recover at home when sick.