Time-Off Benefits

As life becomes more stressful and more people feel the pressures of balancing work and family concerns, benefits involving time off become more and more valuable to employees. When people talk about benefits, some don't even think about time off as a benefit, but that's exactly what it is.

Required time off. In a sense, some types of time off are not benefits because you, as an employer, are required by law (either federal or state) to provide them to employees. They include:

Other time-off benefits that you can offer. In addition to these mandated time-off benefits, there are others that you might consider offering to your employees. These leaves can be paid or unpaid:

Administrative issues. Some time-off plans can be covered under a federal law known as ERISA, which has rigorous administrative requirements. You can generally avoid these if you make time-off plans more of a payroll practice than a separate plan.


A determination of whether a vacation plan is an ERISA plan or not depends on how the program is structured (i.e., how employees are paid). If the vacation policy is an organized "plan" where a separate check would be issued for vacation time, it is an ERISA plan. However, if the vacation plan is just a payroll practice, and employees are paid out of the employer's general assets, it is NOT an ERISA plan.