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This is what happens to all those vacation days that never got used

#Around 60% of the workforce has become remote amid the coronavirus pandemic.


The coronavirus upended the way many workers do their job — whether in person or from home — and increased the time they spend doing it.

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#In 2020, the average workday lengthened by nearly an hour, according to a working paper published by the #National #Bureau of #Economic #Research.

#Despite the longer hours, workers are taking less breaks as well. #Since #March, an overwhelming majority of #Americans have shortened, postponed or canceled their planned time off, according to separate survey of over 2,000 workers in #July.

“#When your kitchen table becomes your office, it gets harder and harder to distinguish between work and home,” said #Claire #Barnes, senior vice president of human resources at #Monster #Worldwide.

“#Sadly, we’ve seen more and more workers — across all sectors — not taking vacation and personal time offered by their employers, whether that’s due to an increased workload or a struggle to find a good work/life balance.”

#Even pre-pandemic, #American workers used only about half of their eligible vacation time, according to a study by jobs and recruitment website #Glassdoor.

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#Now, workers are at risk of forfeiting billions in lost benefits if that time cannot be banked or rolled over.

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#Just 42% of companies said they are making changes to vacation policies to boost flexibility, including increasing carryover limits for unused time off, according to a report by consulting firm #Willis #Towers #Watson.

A separate poll by #Monster found that nearly two-thirds, or 64%, of workers said that their employer does not normally allow vacation rollover, and 4 out of 5 workers said their employers did not provide any wiggle room due to the coronavirus crisis.

#Beginning #Jan. 1, workers will also lose the federal mandate requiring paid leave for those suffering from #Covid-19.

The CARES #Act included an emergency provision that required qualifying employers to offer the benefit to eligible employees through #Dec. 31 — without that policy, there is no national standard for paid family or sick leave.

#However, under the terms of the new relief package, companies can still claim a tax credit to subsidize the cost if they choose to provide paid leave into 2021.

#Many companies will likely continue offering that option even without the mandate, according to #Bill #Gianoukos, founder and CEO of telehealth program provider #Goodpath — just as some will allow workers to rollover more unused vacation days.

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“#Employers understand how important it is to live a more balanced life and they are more open to making sure employees receive the care they need.”

#And yet, it will be up to employees to advocate for themselves, #Gianoukos said, “go back to your employer and request time off.”

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