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April 13, 2011


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Yes. Ours is "use it or lose it" so you better believe I used it!

Nobody counts and I am free to come and go like I need to. I am expected to get the job done. That being said, I don't every remember taking all my vacation( 28 days)

I started at a new company last August, and had 6 vacation days to use in 2010. We can carry over up to 5 days, but they must be used in the first quarter of the following year.

Being a new employee, I am still trying to get established and prove myself to be a hard worker. I used 2 of my carryover days, and let 3 evaporate.

I have 15 days per year to use now, and I plan on using most of not all of them. I like to take seveal 1/2 days here and there to play golf, or take off on random Fridays.

I usually take one week long vacation per year, so that leaves 10 other days to be used at various times.

My company also has the "use it or lose it" policy so I absolutely try to use every available hour before end of year.

I typically will time mine to allow for a 2 week end of year vacation since the kids are also out of school.

I get 2 weeks a year, soon to be 3, but it's all use-it-or-lose-it. I usually don't have ENOUGH to take for what I want, so I would say yes--I use it all! :)

Hell yeah.

This could be a book with all the vacation stories but I will not bore you with all the details.

Vacation days are a foreign concept when I married my wife. She is a teacher, her dad was a college councelor and her mother was a kindergarten teacher. So when someone get 10 weeks off in the summer,a week at christmas, a week at easter and week at midwinter break this is a hard concept for them to understand. When we got married I had 80 hours of vacation time. The first thing to come out of their mouth was "so what does that mean?" Two weeks at 40 hours a week. Oh. Then the next question was when do you start earning more? When I have been with the company 5 years. Oh. So then you get another week? Nooo I get another day or 8 hours for each year. Ohhh.


It was a struggle the first 5 years of our marriage because we needed to pick and choose what we did and there was alot of times I did not go on vacation while they all went off and did something. Many of times working thru Christmas, Easter and all the other times they had off.

Now I am up to 4 weeks the maximum that I can have and I still need to pick and choose what time I take off.

My wife and kids are going to Evansville for a week like they always do and I will stay home and work that week because I figure I will need 5 days for college orientation and moving in and high school graduation party.

But when we do a vacation it is a vacation. This year it is a week to Houston.

I am employed in state government and we are able to accrue it up to a specified amount through the end of the fiscal year, any remainder would roll over to sick leave. I currently have over two months of time accrued but plan to use some of it at the end of May and the first week of June. If I left this position, I would cash out for two months' salary. That's an incentive for me to not use it so quickly, besides, it's a little bit of a safety net should I need it.

No, not really, because my SO, although he technically has more days than I do, can rarely actually take those days. I think this year I might come closest to using it all (80 hrs).

I need to start taking random days off…

We have a use it or lose it policy, so I definitely use it all. Right now, I get 15 days a year (this is my 6th year, so it's up from 10).

I do carry over unused sick days though. We are allowed to have up to 40 maximum and get 6 a year, but I usually only carry over 2-3 thanks to migraines and colds.

2 weeks of vacation, 3 if you stick around long enough, and you take it when they tell you to. Good Lord. Thanks for reminding me why I went into business for myself and incorporated.

I get 120 hours per year (approx. 15 days), but it rolls over indefinitely. My company is very flexible - you can even go into negative vacation time if it's necessary. Also, I recently became salaried rather than hourly and now I don't even have to work a specific number of hours each week so long as it averages at least 40 over the long run. Also, we're on a 9/80 schedule so every other Friday is off. My wife and I love to take an additional day or two off around a 3-day weekend and take a 4-5 day trip. In fact we just got back from a 5-day vacation yesterday.

I definitely use a lot of my vacation time, but it's hard to say I use "all" of it since it rolls over. If I'm not at 0 hours left on December 31, does that mean I didn't use all of it? This year I'm very likely to use more than my 120 hours but will still be in positive territory at the end of the year...

I take every last minute of both my vacation AND my sick time. For most of my career, I worked in the non-profit sector, where vacation packages are typically more generous than they are in the private sector (given that the opposite is true of compensation packages) and was so spoiled. Case in point: In my first job out of college, I got FIVE weeks of paid vacation, 15 sick days and 12 holidays. Subsequent jobs offered slightly less in terms of sick days and holidays, but before my current job, I NEVER had fewer than 5 weeks of vacation. Now I get 3 weeks for vacation AND sick time combined, and only 6 holidays.

I hate it.

Wow, I am so spoiled by acadamia. I've worked for two universities for the past 5 years... so I'm used to four weeks vacation + a dozen holidays + a week and a half off at Christmas, and usually a dozen sick days. I'm leaving soon to move across the country, so I've been slowly saving a week + each year that I've been here so I can cash out 4 weeks pay when I quit. Should pay for the movers and the drive across the country!

My company starts with 10 days of Personal Vacation (PV) + 3 days of Personal Time (PT). After 5 years, you will have 15 days a year. Maximum you will get is 30 days a year. We are allowed to save up our PV to 90 days. All PV will be given by cash if you leave the company or retire.

Right now I only have 10 days, so I always need to save up at least two years PV to go overseas to see my family.

I earn 12 hours of PTO each month, so that works out to three and a half weeks a year that I use for vacation or sick time. It rolls over indefinitely. I would have to check my last paycheck stub of last year to see how many hours I used, but I don't think it was all 144.


We have the 'use it or lose it' system and they are paid days off. I use it all every year. Theres no reason not to use it.

My wedding comes up in May so I will take time off for that but after that I plan to have child next year so I plan not to take my time off so I can save up for that. Until my kids are older and we can afford family vacations, I plan to continue that plan. I may work from home some days but true vacation, no.

I get 3 weeks plus a week of sick time...and I use every last second of it.

I can roll over 5 vacation days and 2 personal days. I have a maternity leave this year so I saved what I could and will use it to get paid for 4 of the 6 weeks I'm taking off. Unfortunately I will have 6 months to make it after the leave where if I get sick or need time off it will just be unpaid.

I only get 2 weeks and it's use it or lost it. I'd still take all mine even if I got five weeks. Why would you not?

I have so much unused vacation it is really sick when I think about it. I get 22 days per year and they just keep rolling over. Take maybe two weeks per year... But one nice thing is that if I put in 40 hours by Wed or Thursday and there is nothing pressing on my plate... I can just take Thursday and/or Friday off... Which I do every chance I get! I get paid a salary so it is not like I would be losing out on OT.

I hear stories of folks leaving the company with like 200+ unused vacation days... Talk about a golden parachute.

I get 25 total days vacation/sick leave/personal time per year, plus approx 6 fixed holidays. We have to take some of this time off during the Christmas holiday season, and we also have to take travel days out of this (for example, the 1/2 day we spend traveling before we arrive at a conference). Can't cash in any vacation days, and only about 5 days can roll over to the next year. I usually use almost all of it.

I guess my situation is more unusual than I realized. I work for a Fortune 50 company; and our sick/vacation time does not roll over. In the years I've been there, I've had more than 10 different managers -- every single one of whom encouraged their direct reports to use all their vacation time, even when things are busy. The office is a ghost town each December. So yes, I take all of my vacation (3 weeks, plus a week at Christmas), and so does everyone else. I can't imagine working for a company that expected anyone to do otherwise.

Sick time is another story. I have several health issues, so I end up using all of that most years; but I think that's unusual. Using *all* of it, especially year after year, is (very) slightly frowned upon, so I tend to work extra hours here and there to make sure people know that my health issues aren't a hindrance to my performance.

Some of you have mentioned that you would take all sick leave each year as well. Does it mean you can take sick leave anytime just like vacation days?

I always question studies like this -- I have managed vacation programs (databases) for several companies that track what employees use, and I can assure, close to 100% of all employees use their vacation time. If anyone actually lets vacation time expire, that is a rare exception, not the norm.

However, if you count carrying over unused vacation time into the next year (that can either be used the following year or cashed out), then yes, most people do this and I'd say 37% would be quite low.

I have yet to see a single person allow this benefit to just expire.

Some of you have mentioned that you would take all sick leave each year as well. Does it mean you can take sick leave anytime just like vacation days?

I get 32 days a year (for hanging around for over 20+ yrs) We can carry over some from one year to the next. But after you accumulate a certain amount they quit adding any more. So you do start to lose it. I use all of mine. If they gave me more, I would be happy to take more. My job is OK, but I certainly don't love it so much that I would rather go to work than take a vacation day. Life is for living, not working.

I'd love to take all of mine - if it wasn't such a hassle to take it and the other office workers wouldn't look daggers at me when I do it! Makes it hard to take it all.

I had 615.7 hours of sick leave in 1999 and we earned about 120 per year. I got 15 days vacation a year and we could accumulate both. At retirement we would get paid for the vacation, but would lose the sick leave.

In 1999, my husband was diagnosed with a rare pancreatic cancer (ZES) and I had to use a great amount of sick leave. I was out so much the next 8 years - sometimes a week or two at a time and once for over a month and a half. Luckily my boss had bullied me into getting onto FMLA. I thought my sick leave was enough to cover me, but she said I could still be fired for using way too much. When I retired at the end of 2005, I still had about 100 hours, which I lost.

I also had 221.5 hours of vacation and holiday pay left. I was paid for that, and after taxes and all, I was able to buy myself a complete computer, copier, fax system and buy a bunch of dvd's to play on it. It was a lovely retirement gift, as I had completely forgotten that I would be paid for this. I think the reason I had so much vacation time built up was that I was trying to make certain I had enough to cover any situation while my husband was alive.

I had never intended to retire, but when my husband began to be sicker yet, I felt he needed me at home and not living 90 miles away for my job. I hate retirement, but I have never regretted that I did it. I was actually able to keep him at home the entire time, even when Hospice took over. He lasted l year and 9 months after my retirement. I'm glad I was there, that he was able to die in his own home and that he was bedfast for only the last 24-36 hours.

I have always been grateful for the State of MO for a job I loved and the time to be with my husband whenever he got sick.

@jbhk - we don't have sick leave, we have personal days. These are what we are expected to use for things like doctors visits, being sick, sick kid, etc... It isn't strictly for "sick" days.

I get 2 weeks (10 days) vacation, and 5 personal days. I am allowed to roll over 5 vacation days, and 2 sick days. We do not get paid for any days we lose. The problem with rolling over, is that is just more you have to use the next year. If you can't use 2 weeks in a year, how will you be able to use 3 weeks the next year.

It could be much worse though - my brother is a lawyer, and he can take his vacation time, but still have to reach the correct # of billable hours, so to take time off, you have to just work extra. so its not really any vacation at all.

when i used to be a consultant, i accrued 4 weeks of vacation every year but never took all of it. it's funny because companies will try to monetize the value of the time off and present it to you in terms of total comp package. however, how much of that value do you benefit from? it's bad enough as is that you are putting in 70-80 hours a week to rake in the same salary as a manager at your level in corporate/industry. when i moved to industry, i accrued 6 weeks of vacation, and ended up taking most of it. still not all of it! with increasing demands in the corporate workplace, i find it hard to imagine that someone at a relatively high position (and one who wants to push up to an even higher position down the road) is able to take all their time off

I think Josh makes a really good point, and the comments here generally seem to back him up. When I worked full time, I always used up all of my available sick days, tho i sometimes would carry over no up to the allowable maximum to have " in the bank" to use on short notice if needed. I do recall tho that more than just a few of my co-workers claimed to never use all of their vacation days, but i suspected that it was more posturing for effect than actual reality.

We have "use it or lose it" policy. I have 25 days and 3-4 personal choice holidays depending on how the standard holidays fall (for example if the 4th of July falls on Tu/Th, we'd get Mon/Fri as a scheduled holiday but fewer personal choice). I use them all, if I don't plan trips than I just take miscellaneous Fridays and then take whatever I have left at the end of the year.

We have unlimited number of sick days which means we only take sick days when we are actually sick. I think if it's a large number of days in a row, I am not sure of the exact period, you'll have to go on temporary disability, but other than that nobody pays attention. I think when companies limit number of sick days they don't understand the psychology: if people get fixed number of days they tend to take them all; if people get unlimited which has been the policy of my employer for as long as I remember (which is over 25 years) but people are judged at the end of the year on what they accomplished regardless of time at work, then people only take days off when they are actually sick - and then work from home if they are able. I don't remember when was the last time I took a sick day, I think it was 15 years ago when I had chicken pox, but then I took 2 weeks as I had cough/fever for that time.

I've never seen people who took too many sick days unless it was really needed e.g. one guy's being in a hospital for month; and I've seen quite a lot of people who don't take all of their vacation days.

We have a roll-over policy. I get 15 days of vacation time a year, 12 days of sick leave, a ton of state and federal holidays--at least one a month, sometimes two--and I've never used it all except when I was out on FMLA leave for the birth of my son. We travel quite often, have a toddler, and I never feel like I'm just working all the time. I prefer to take a couple of days here and there to break up things.

Don't take vacation time if you don't need it and it rolls over into the new year. Obviously, if you lose it, then you need to take it before the end of the year. One good reason for saving vacation time is this: if you get laid off, your unused vacation time gets cashed out. That money can help tide you over as you look for another job.

@Jackson - this is dependent on company policy. Many companies do not cash out unused vacation time.

My company combines sick and vacation time as "Personal Time Off", and it is a use it or lose it situation. Everybody I know tries to use it all up.

In the past we had separate vacation (2-5 weeks, depending on how long you had been here), personal time (5 days for things like getting drivers license, taking your mom to the doctor, and so on), and 20 days for sick. Most people used up the vacation but didn't use up the sick time or personal time. You took it if/when you needed it.

Now everything is bundled together, and it works out to just vacation plus 10 sick days and no personal days. Everybody makes sure they always take every day.

My current employer has quite a generous vacation policy -- three weeks to start, and one additional day each year (prorated for employees who, like me, work part time but at least 20 hours per week). We're allowed to carry over 12 days, with no restriction on when we use it, and if a deadline crunch happens toward the end of the year they will usually ease the 12-day limit. My husband also started with three weeks, but that's all anyone with his employer gets, so I always end up carrying over some of mine, even though I take a vacation day if one of us needs to stay home with the kids.

I think two weeks a year is nowhere near enough, and when I had only two weeks I always used all of it. A plague on Scrooge-like employers who make employees feel bad for taking even that much.

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