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More people get paid to take time off from work

August 15, 2013: 5:00 AM ET

You might think you're working harder, but more employees now have access to paid time off from the job than two decades ago.

The share of employees with access to paid sick time, personal days and family leave, as well as bereavement days and military leave, has risen substantially since 1992-1993, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The prevalence of vacation days slipped a bit, however.


"The type of leave is changing," said Robert Van Giezen, a BLS economist. "The options to employees are more varied now. More personal leave and more sick time is available."

You're more likely to get paid time off if you work full time, or for a medium or large company. For instance, nearly half of workers at businesses with 100 or more employees received paid personal days in 2012, but only 27% of those in small firms did.

While access to paid time off has broadened, the total time off each worker has a year hasn't necessarily gotten more generous. BLS doesn't track this total but found that while companies have gotten more generous with vacation days, they are pulling back on sick leave and holidays.


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