FWI-SHRM Study: Most Employers Provide Paid Leave

Fewer organizations provide caregivers and part-timers paid time off

Feb 24, 2015

NEW YORK — Almost all U.S. employers with 50 or more employees (99 percent) have some form of time off with pay for their full-time employees, according to national data released today by the Families and Work Institute (FWI) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

The study, Paid Time Off, Vacations, Sick Days and Short-term Caregiving in the United States, also found that only about one-third of employers provide at least five days of paid leave for caregiving and roughly 25 percent provide paid leave to part-time employees.

The study is based on findings in the 2014 National Study of Employers. It found no significant differences between large employers (1,000 and more employees) and small employers (50 to 99 employees) in offering any of the three types of paid leave — sick days, vacation time or general paid time off, known as PTO.

Mike Aitken, SHRM’s vice president of government affairs, said: “This study shows that paid leave is available to the vast majority of full-time employees. When employers control their own benefit offerings, there can be flexibility and creativity, which benefit both employers and employees.”

Overall, few employers offer paid leave options to part-time employees — whether they are hourly (offered by 24 percent of employers) or salaried (32 percent). Among employers with a PTO program, large employers are more likely to offer it to their part-time salaried and hourly employees than small employers.

“While most full-time employees have access to paid leave, the changing nature of work, where more individuals are working multiple jobs or are working part-time positions because they can’t find full-time work, can pose economic and work-life challenges for these employees,” said Kenneth Matos, senior director of research for FWI and author of the new report. “We should rethink the kind of paid leave policies that part-time workers have.”

In terms of what type of paid leave is provided, vacation time was at the top of the list, provided by 58 percent of organizations. It was followed by sick days (52 percent) and PTO (41 percent).

It’s difficult to gauge whether the number of employers offering paid leave overall has changed since 2008 because the criteria from tracking such data has changed to include PTO, in addition to sick and vacation time. A growing number of employers are using the PTO designation, putting all paid leave in one PTO bucket and giving employees the choice of whether to use the time for vacation, illness or any other reason.

The report is available at http://familiesandwork.org/downloads/paid-leave-nse.pdf.

Media: For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Kate Kennedy of SHRM Media Affairs at 703-535-6260 and Kate.kennedy@shrm.org or Eve Tahmincioglu at 212-716-1842 and Eve@familiesandwork.org.


The 2014 National Study of Employers surveyed a representative national sample of 1,051 for-profit (67 percent of the sample) and nonprofit employers (33 percent of the sample) with 50 or more employees by telephone interviews and web surveys (mode determined by respondent preference) with human resource directors. Representatives of Harris Interactive (now Nielson Company) conducted the 48-minute phone interviews between Sept. 13, 2013, and Jan. 31, 2014. When analyzing data to make generalizations about the universe of organizations with 50 or more employees in the United States, the sample was weighted to the distribution of employers found in the D&B database, a close approximation of the distribution of employers of different sizes in the United States. The response rate for the study was 40 percent. The maximum sampling error (margin of error) for the study when describing the total sample is approximately 4 percent.

About the Society for Human Resource Management

Founded in 1948, the Society forHuman Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest HR membership organization devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 275,000 members in over 160 countries, the Society is the leading provider of resources to serve the needs of HR professionals and advance the professional practice of human resource management. SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China, India and United Arab Emirates. Visit SHRM Online at www.shrm.org and follow us on Twitter @SHRMPress.

About Families and Work Institute

The Families and Work Institute (FWI) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that studies the changing workforce, family and community. As a preeminent think tank, FWI is known for being ahead of the curve, identifying emerging issues, and then conducting rigorous research that often challenges common wisdom and provides insight and knowledge. As an action tank, FWI conducts numerous studies that put its research into action and then evaluates the results. Its purpose is to create research to live by. For more information, visit www.familiesandwork.org, like us on www.Facebook.com/FWI and follow us on Twitter @FWINews.


Job Finder

Find an HR Job Near You
Post a Job


Find the Right Vendor for Your HR Needs

SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 10,000 companies

Search & Connect