How to Determine PTO Days by the National Average

Part of the benefits package that some full-time employees receive comes with Paid Time Off (PTO). Based on your company’s benefits package and policies, this is time that could be used for vacation, sick leave, or personal days. 

There is significant leeway within how you incorporate these into your benefits package. You might have a lot of questions regarding how many days/hours to give, how they can be accrued, whether they carry over at the end of the year, and how many days you give to employees based on their years of service within the organization.  

Let’s go over what other companies are doing, on average, so you can offer a competitive package to attract the highest-quality employees. 

Mutually Beneficial

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you are losing something or getting taken advantage of by giving your employees paid time off. To be a good leader, you need to understand your job and take care of your employees. 

All of your employees have things they enjoy outside of work, and PTO allows them to do the things they find important. Without them, they might feel like their work/life balance is off. This could lead to decreased productivity. And worse, they might seek another position somewhere else where they receive more time off.

National Averages

Depending on which report you cite, anywhere between 69-76% of Americans in the private sector receive Paid Time Off. Regardless of the exact number, a vast majority have and use PTO. 

If you want to be on the inside looking out, you would be wise to consider offering them too. If you’re looking to find the balance between fair and efficient, look to the national averages. It’ll keep your company’s benefits package competitive. 

1-5 Years of Service: 10 days (2 weeks)

5-10 Years of Service: 15 days (3 weeks)

10-20 Years of Service: 17 days

20+ Years of Service: 20 days (4 weeks)

Other Time Off

To make your offer slightly more robust, you can choose to close your business on federal legal holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans’ Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day. 

To what degree you operate on these days will be up to you. There is no law citing you have to pay your employees to not work during these days. Again, more than 75% of people within the private sector receive them. With that, you can choose how many you choose to observe. You can also close your office around those days. For example, you might keep the office closed after Thanksgiving or the day before Christmas. 

It is valuable to note that certain industries are more apt to not close. The service industries are likely to remain open. If people are not working, they are more likely to go out to eat, shop, and spend money. People in the service will look to capitalize on these times. 

Business, finance, and management companies, on the other hand, are likely to close. If other companies are not open to do business with, then you might be in a position to gain more than you lose by allowing your employees to receive a paid holiday. Think of it as an investment in their happiness and their overall level of being a content employee. 


A convenient feature of PayWow is its ability to help you organize and manage everything we’ve discussed so far. 

Under “Time and Attendance,” you will be able to list out your PTO and holiday policies. These are going to be unique to you and your business needs.

Remember how I mentioned that only full-time employees receive Paid Time Off? When you open up your holiday section and see all the people you employ, you can choose which ones get paid for which holidays. For instance, you can pay all your employees for a federal holiday and “uncheck” your contractors so that they don’t. 

Try PayWow today!

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *