Should employers eliminate vacation days?

The Retail Detail reports: Employers are increasingly adopting a “use it or lose it” policy with employee vacation days.  The days themselves face the chopping block as economic woes and pressures from customers to cut costs continue.  America is in deep trouble.

“Use it or lose it” policies were probably designed to eliminate the “working vacation” that crafty employees use to essentially score double the value of the vacation, and effectively create an end of the year bonus by not taking any vacation days.  I did this myself to pay for Christmas shopping and other expenses.  And we’re not talking peanuts; an average employee makes about $10 across the board and a 40-hour vacation would be $400.  To a retail wage slave, that’s a car payment and almost the rent for a month.  Factor in seniority and you’ve got quite a bonus check – for me, that was about $900.  Not bad for a “bonus.”

On the other side of the days-off spectrum of available options are the sick days.  Usually, if an employer allows these (many do) as a benefit, they are accrued and can be saved up for use.  A few employees I once knew had “saved up” about three months’ worth of sick time over close to a decade of employment.  Vacation days are not treated like this.

So, here’s a solution that is already implemented by a few employers: no more sick days and all days off allowed are considered as “personal days.”  They can be scheduled or an employee can choose to call in sick.  But, most importantly, they can be saved for future use if needed.  So, why not allow this option as a standard benefit across America?

The final point I have to make is this: some public sector employees can save up a LOT of this time and then collect a lump sum pay-out on the value of these days upon retirement.  What if this could be the case across the various retail industries, thus allowing workers to accrue a sort of personal retirement savings throughout a lengthy stay with an employer?

NOTE: For legal advice on this topic, seek out an employment lawyer; I am not a lawyer.

What are your thoughts on this issue?


About Amy Barnes

Author has extensive experience in Retail, including two years as a supervisor. Educated in Psychology, Financial Accounting, Criminal Justice, and Programming. Work experience in Law Enforcement, Security (IT), Programming (REALBasic, SQL, VB, JAVA), Retail.
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