Survey measures average vacation time for hospitality employees

UNITED STATES Even as a very slow and modest upturn in the U.S. economy is becoming evident, hospitality organizations across the country continue to search for ways to reward employees, despite the shrinking pay-increase budgets and pay freezes seen throughout the industry.

The newly released 2010 Compensation Data Hospitality survey finds that exempt employees with less than one year of service earn an average of 3.7 vacation days, while nonexempt employees earn 3.2 days.

Slightly more than 70% of hospitality companies offering paid vacation to employees use years of service to determine the number of days an employee can accrue. Exempt employees with five years of service average 14.8 days of vacation, compared to those with 10 years of service, who average 18.3 days. Employees with 20 years of service have 21.1 days of vacation, according to the survey. Both exempt and non-exempt employees are granted an average of three personal days and six sick days per year.

“In retaining top employees, many organizations are finding enhancements to time off programs may be a viable alternative to granting pay increases,” says Amy Kaminski, director of marketing for Compdata Surveys, which conducted the study. “Until effects of the economic recovery can be felt, it will remain important for companies to be creative and make the most of their compensation budgets.”

While fewer than half of hospitality employers allow carryover of vacation days from one year to the next, 68.6% of those place a limit on the number of days that can be carried over. The survey results show exempt employees can carry over up to 18.7 days of vacation, while non-exempt employees are allowed to carry over up to 17.2 days.

The full survey contains data on more than 100 industry-specific job titles and more than 250 benchmark titles ranging from entry-level to top executives. Data is collected annually from hospitality employers across the country. The results provide a comprehensive summary of pay data, benefit information and pay practices with an effective date of March 1, 2010. For more information or for a copy of the complete study, call Kaminski at +1-800-300-9570.