Poll: No paid time off and higher pay, or lower wage and PTO?

There is a point where people might value time over money and vice-versa. Let’s see where people land.

For this poll, there are two jobs. Both jobs have the same work and working hours.
Job A has a higher rate of pay than B, but you get no paid time off. If it’s a holiday, you are off but not paid.
Job B gets 5 paid Holidays a year and 5 paid days of sick/personal time, but… they get paid less.

You definitely take home more money with job A, but job B has the paid days off. If they paid the same, everyone would choose job B with the PTO.

The question: How much money, over a year, would job A have to pay to make you choose it over job B?

Raw numbers are kinda meaningless without a baseline pay. If I earn 100k a year, 5k is no big deal. If my pay is 20k a year, 5k more would be a huge increase in quality of life.

That’s very true, but I wanted to get a picture of a scale that fits myself and people I work with.

I had a boss recently that was having difficulty selling his SECOND boat. I will never have that problem, even if I get that wealthy, which I won’t.

What I’m almost hoping to see, is a reply saying that time off has an intrinsic value that can’t be compared to a rate of pay.

I have seen people seeking higher pay rate regardless of any other factor, and I know people who value their lifestyle over any amount of pay.

I’ll never know everything, but I’ll always want to know more.

I didn’t read the OP before I answered the poll. I just took my current salary and divided it by the number of days that I am paid for per year then I multiplied it by my number of days off to get the value of my vacation days. So for instance if I made 100k per year then my value per day would be $385 and I’ve got 20 days PTO per year so their value is $7692. So if I made 107692 then I’d wouldn’t care if I didn’t get paid for my vacation. Obviously this doesn’t account for taxes.

Of course following the OP with only 10 days off per year (first off I’d be pissed with that few non work days) I’d need a lot less money then I asked for in the poll something on the order of a quarter as much so about $2,500.

What good is money if you have no time to enjoy it?

I suppose if you play a long game and intend quite working once you’ve stashed enough away.

I run my own business and take off time where I need to. I don’t live an expensive lifestyle nor do I really want to. Making more money and having less free time doesn’t really appeal to me at all.

The question isn’t no vacation vs vacation it’s paid vacation vs unpaid vacation. You’re getting the same amount off of work just one way you get larger pay checks when you don’t take days off and smaller paychecks when you do the other it’s always the same paycheck no matter if you worked or not.

I’ve worked as a consultant and was paid day rate for over two years. It’s hard to take that day off when you know it’s decreasing your annual pay by 0.3% but once you’ve got enough in the bank it was nice to take the unpaid vacation and not care you just have to live your life realizing your paycheck is smaller then it looks like when your cash the check.

More than job B.

I’m not sure I really understand the question. Is it a budgeting thing? Like, I’d take less pay if the pay was consistent, because I suck at budgeting? I can see that, actually. But I’m finally thisclose to getting my act together enough to save money for the weeks I’m paid less. So I’d rather have the better paying job, so I can *afford *to take time off.

(In reality, my rubric is whichever job will give me more days off, paid or unpaid. I travel and do volunteer work 5-6 weeks a year. I only get paid for 12 vacation days at my current job, but I can take as many unpaid ones as I want. I have turned down significantly better paying jobs that would only allow me 2 weeks off, because my volunteer work is non-negotiable to me. So in that sense, my actual life choices support the idea that time is more important to me than money.)

That’s not specified in the OP. The comparison there was 10 days paid time off per year (which is practically nothing) and zero days PTO. If Job B gives me 10 paid holidays, 10 paid vacation days and 5 paid personal/sick days per year that’s roughly 10% PTO in a standard work year of 260 days. If Job A gives me a 30% pay increase and expects me to work 250 paid days a year and only take off 10 days unpaid, I don’t want to work there. Obviously (as mentioned previously) base pay is important.

This is an extremely important distinction that wasn’t addressed. I want to be well paid and well balanced. For me, that means time away from work beyond weekends and National Holidays. Whether you pay me more per day worked or pay me nothing for days not worked is mostly irrelevant as long as it’s equitable. All things being equal as far as being able to actually take time off, I guess I would choose more money per day worked because I’ve sometimes left PTO days on the table but never used more than I’ve had. In which case, it would be unpaid time off anyway.

I just have a hunch that a company who paid more for days worked and devalued vacation time wouldn’t be a good fit for me. To me (and I think to most people) time off from work absolutely has intrinsic value. The balance will change with every individual.

It all depends: can I take UNPAID time off at will (giving suitable advance notice that I’ll be out)? Or is this for an org that expects my nose to be touching their grindstone on a nonstop basis?

That’s fair. I guess I read the GQ thread that this spun off from and was using a little outside knowledge. Of course if one place is expecting you to never get sick or take more the 4 days away from the office I would require huge amount more money.

In the GQ thread he’s talking about working at the same place with two possible role payments for coworkers one with paid vacation and one unpaid.

In practical terms, I wouldn’t trust most companies to work that way. If you have PTO, there’s at least an argument that they’re supposed to let you take time off. But with no PTO, there are plenty of places where your options are ‘work without a break’ or ‘quit,’ and any place giving you only 5 vacation and 5 sick days a year doesn’t strike me as reasonable. I would not accept job A if it just paid enough extra that I could take as much time off as job B and break even, I’d need to make more. But realistically I wouldn’t take a job with that horrible of PTO policy anyway.

The question altogether seems odd to me. When you think about it, PTO is just money that you WOULD get paid but they’re holding onto to give you for time you don’t work so you have a more consistent pay check. Think about it this way: Let’s say someone makes either $25 an hour equal to $1000 a week for a 40 hour work week. If that person gets no PTO and takes 2 weeks of LWOP, they make $50k. The take-home is EXACTLY the same as someone who makes $50k, but gets 2 weeks of PTO. The only difference is the former makes $1000 a week for weeks they work and nothing the weeks they don’t, where the latter makes $961.54 every week, including the ones they have off. In some sense, the latter is better for budgeting, but unless you’re living paycheck to paycheck, that’s not really a big deal.

Where the difference comes in is when you have leave you don’t use, or when you need more leave than where that break even point is. If you use less than 2 weeks, you end up better in the case with unpaid leave because not only is each day paid more when you work, but any unused leave is usually not paid out until the end of the year or when you leave the job. OTOH, if you need more leave, you end up taking LWOP in both cases, and because each day is work less in the latter case, that starts winning out. So, really, the question is whether 2 weeks is a good estimate or not for how much leave you need/want.

That said, at the break even point, the difference in salary for job A is making 4% more than job B. Since two weeks is generally plenty for me, since I very rarely get sick, and I have flexibility in my hours and can work from home to avoid taking days off for appointments or bad weather or even if I’m sick (perhaps unless I’m so sick I can’t even work). So as long as job A pays >=4% of job B, I take job A. As such, I voted for the option that is the first value that meets that criteria based on my current salary.

I think a better way to phrase this would be “how much would you sell a day of your vacation time for? Is that sum greater than, equal, or less than your current daily rate?”

What Blaster Master says.

I am pretty much in the situation of the OP. I don’t get paid when I don’t work, but I get paid enough more that I can take unpaid time off and not lose money over earning less and getting PTO. In terms of number of hours worked, I am somewhat ahead of my last job, which required lots and lots of overtime but paid a constant salary. So it is pretty much a wash.


Can I “work from home”?

Echoing others, this needs clarification. What happens in Job A if I takes unplanned time off (sick days) or planned time off (a week’s vacation)? I assume I wouldn’t get paid, but would I also get fired as well for taking unpaid time off? How much unpaid time off (unplanned or planned) would I be reasonably permitted to take before my boss sat me down for a talk?

There were years in my early/mid 20’s where I didn’t use any of my (measly) allotted vacation time for various dumb reasons - impress the boss, lack of funds to do anything exciting, etc.

I was an idiot. I’m never doing that again.

These days, the difference would have to be something like a 50% bump. Enough to fund me taking a six month unpaid sabbatical after a year.

Roughly speaking, I’ll want a certain amount of time off. Given two jobs where I can take that amount of time off, I’ll take whichever one ends up paying more. That might be the one with the lower base pay but where the time off is paid, or it might be the one with the higher base pay, depending on what the numbers are. It’s straightforward algebra.

That’s pretty much what I was thinking too- it would have to be enough that I could take a leave of absence or sabbatical or something after a while, and not be financially strapped as a result.

And even at that, it would have to be quite a bit more than $10k. I’m not sure I’d even switch jobs for 10k more a year.