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Employee PTO policy sample

The Paid Time Off (PTO) Policy specifies the amount of paid leave offered to employees annually. It encompasses vacation time and can be used at the employee's discretion. The policy details the accrual process, usage guidelines, and differentiates PTO from other leave types.

This Employee PTO policy sample is ready to be tailored to your company’s needs and should be considered a starting point for setting up your employment policies. An Employee PTO policy may also be called a vacation policy or time off policy.

This paid time off policy should include:

  1. Definitions and distinctions between PTO and other types of leave
  2. Accrual process details, including the amount of PTO offered to different employee categories
  3. Procedures for requesting PTO and guidelines on its usage throughout the year


Employee PTO policy template

Policy brief & purpose

What is an Employee PTO policy?

Our Employee PTO policy or paid time off policy refers to the amount of time off we offer to our employees per calendar year or month. Paid time off can be considered equivalent to vacation time, but employees can use it any way they want.

This policy outlines the accrual process for paid time off, and how employees can manage this benefit.


This policy applies to all employees.

Policy elements

Our company will not grant fewer days of paid leave than the law dictates. We offer [20 days of annual PTO to our full-time, permanent employees.] These employees can use their PTO from the beginning of the year, without having to wait to accrue it. Part-time employees will also receive PTO on a pro-rata basis in the same fashion. Temporary employees receive [0.6 days per month] multiplied by their contract duration. They can use their full PTO after their first [month] working with our company.

PTO is separate from parental leave or sick leave as these may be subject to different legal or company guidelines. Other kinds of leave such as bereavement leave and jury duty leave will be considered if the need arises.

You can file a request for PTO via [our HRIS.] When requesting your PTO, you needn’t specify the reason of your request. If your PTO extends more than [three days], we ask you to schedule it at least [two weeks] in advance.

Please try to use your PTO throughout the year and not accumulate your entire leave for the end. Unused PTO [may not] be passed on to the next calendar year.

Employees may earn some additional PTO every year. The limit of this total time off is [25 days.]

Unpaid Leave. In some cases an employee may use up all their PTO and still need to be absent from work. In such cases, we may consider granting that employee unpaid time off. This doesn’t include cases when employees need to take sick leave or parental leave. These types of leave are separate. 

Disclaimer: This PTO policy template is meant to provide general guidelines and should be used as a reference. It may not take into account all relevant local, state or federal laws and is not a legal document. Neither the author nor Workable will assume any legal liability that may arise from the use of this policy.


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