Most Employers Have "Use It or Lose It" Vacation Policies
If you’re like one of the many full-time employees in the United States, you probably receive benefits like paid time off (PTO), or vacation time, which you earn throughout the year. Unfortunately, most employers require their employees to use some — or all — of their earned PTO time by the end of the year or the unused days disappear.
Project: Time Off, a 2017 study, analyzed GfK and Oxford Economics data to find 662 million vacation days went unused in 2016, with 206 million of those hours unable to be rolled over into 2017 through a “use it or lose it” vacation policy. In 2013, only 429 million paid vacation days went unused.
Physicians and Vacation Time
Physicians are no different than their fellow working Americans when it comes to taking earned vacation days. According to a 2019 LocumTenens.com survey, physicians in all specialties left a combined average of 4.24 paid vacation days on the table in 2018, which resulted in an average of $6,735.04 left on the table.
The study authors analyzed the average paid days off unused per specialty and then compared that data with the average locum tenens pay per hour rate by specialty. This revealed the amount of money clinicians could have made if they had applied their unused days to working locum tenens instead of letting them just go to waste.
Average Money Left on the Table in 2018 by Physiatrists
(*based on LocumTenens.com average hourly rates)$7,941.17
Are you like one of the many healthcare providers who left money on the table last year? This year, instead of allowing earned paid days off to expire, consider doing locum tenens work on those days and earn some extra cash while also improving your current skills, traveling to different locations and most importantly, helping patients have access to the care they need, no matter where they live.
* Does not include overtime or call