Paid Time Off

First, a definition from “What We Pay,” a 2006 survey report by Carolee Colter and Peg Nolan, based on data from 99 food co-ops:  “A significant number of co-ops, 42 percent, merge vacation, sick leave, personal leave, and holidays (or some mix of these) into one benefit called ‘Paid Time Off.’”

Paid Time Off covers some of the most important job benefits and elements of job satisfaction.  Consequently, it frequently has been discussed among co-op employees.

The data on benefits in the “What We Pay” survey included a breakdown by store size of those Paid Time Off elements (vacation days, sick days, holiday pay) as well as the combined PTO figure: http://www.cooperativegrocer.coop/articles/2009-01-20/what-we-pay.  In another survey, Colter and Nolan covered general manager compensation, http://www.cooperativegrocer.coop/articles/2009-01-21/manager-compensation, and reported that 17 percent of general managers receive paid time off above that offered to all employees of the co-op.

Proper accounting of accrued Paid Time Off (a liability of the co-op) is explained in “Accounting Best Practices: The balance sheet,” by Bruce Mayer, Peg Nolan, and Steve Wolfe ():

“Accrued PTO should be recorded for the amount of the obligation to pay staff when they separate from service. It is a best practice that carryover be limited to a set number of hours, both to encourage people to take time off and to limit the liability.”