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How to Set up Your Employee's PTO (Paid Time Off)

Many companies offer their employees paid time off, or PTO. Some divide it into personal, vacation, and sick timewhile many are starting to simplify things and roll them all into one category labeled PTO. However you decide to split it up, you can set it all up in one place within OTC. The  math involved can seem a little tricky until you get the hang of it, but stick with it, follow this guide, and you should be able to figure out what makes the most sense for your company and your employees.


From the Employees list, select an employee. Switch to the PTO Rules tab. It will look like the following: 



You can customize this however you want, but we'll walk through how to set up "PTO" and you can apply this to the other filters if you need to.


*Note: When adding Holiday PTO, before putting anything here, check out



Click inside of "PTO" to bring out the drop-down menu.  


1. Allot X hours per year

This is the most straight-forward option. Allotting is basically just giving the employee an amount of PTO without having to earn it by working.  It becomes available for the employee to use immediately.


2. Accrue X hours per regular hour worked



Accruing is basically earning. So, let's say you wanted your employee to earn 40 hours of PTO over the course of the year. Let's assume your employee works 40-hour weeks. There is an average of 2,087 hours in a "work year." Using this, we do the following math: 


40 (desired total PTO to be earned) divided by 2087 = 0.0192 (this  is one week, so just multiply by 2 for 2 weeks, 3 for 3 weeks, etc) 


With the above formula, we arrive at 0.0192. If you enter 0.0192 in the box labeled "Accrue", by the end of the year the employee will have earned a total of 40 hours of PTO. If you want him/her to have access to 40 hours sooner than the end of the year, just increase that 0.0192 number (you'll just have to play around with the math until it makes sense for your policy) and put 40 in the "Max Hours Per Year" field. This way the employee will earn 40 hours of PTO sooner, but won't continue to accrue hours beyond 40. To earn 80 hours of PTO for the year, double the value (0.0384).


*Note: "Previous Balance" is for carry-over hours. In this field you should enter any hours that have carried over from the previous PTO year. Any  amount entered here will be in addition to the Max Hours Per Year. i.e. Your hours will stop accruing once you hit the "Max Hours", but anything in "Previous Balance" will be added to the accrued amount regardless of Max Hours Per Year.


3. Accrue X % of regular worked hours

Sticking with the example of 40 hours of PTO above, for this option you would need to enter 1.92 [%] of every regular hour worked. Double the percentage (3.84) to have the employee earn 80 hours of PTO.


4. Accrue X hours per pay  period

So for 40 hours of PTO here, you would have your employee earn 1.3 hours of PTO per week–which would translate to the following in pay periods:


Weekly: 1.3

Bi-Weekly: 2.6

Monthly: 5.2


(double the values for 80 hours of PTO, triple for 120, etc)


5. Accrue X hours per every hour worked

See “per regular hour worked” above. This will accrue PTO faster than just “per regular hour worked”, as it accrues from overtime hours as well. How much faster will depend on how much overtime the employee works.