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PTO, leave sharing give employees flexibility

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in HR Management,Human Resources,Office Management,Payroll Management

Time off is precious to employees, but during tough economic times, some say they’d rather have the money.

At MITRE, for example, a third of its 6,000 employees took advantage of an option to cash out up to two weeks of their paid leave last year.

The cash-out option is one of several that employees of the engineering and IT firm have for using their leave.

Instead of designating sick, vacation and personal days, the Massachusetts- and Virginia-based firm 10 years ago started combining all paid leave into a paid time-off (PTO) bank that employees can tap for any reason. Or, employees can donate some of their leave to colleagues in need.

In 2007, about 300 employees donated more than 5,000 hours to co-workers who ran out of paid time off but needed more because of an emergency. Most of the recipients were new employees who had not accrued much time off, says Benefits Manager Richard Guardino. HR approved 61 of 66 requests for up to three weeks off, mostly to care for family members.

Contact: Benefits Manager Richard Guardino at richg@mitre.org.

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