vice president of Human Resources
Question: What's the deal with earned time?
Answer: Each year, Children's Hospital Boston's Human Resources (HR) team carefully reviews all of our benefit programs, including earned time (ET), to make sure they keep pace with the programs offered by our peer institutions. Our reviews have found that the ET benefits are competitive and allow maximum flexibility for employees. At Children's, ET may be used (with manager approval) as you choose, whether for holidays, vacation, illnesses, leaves of absence or personal reasons.
The amount of ET available each year starts at 30 days for those scheduled to work 40 hours per week, which includes 10 days designated as holidays. This leaves 20 days for employees to use for other days you're not at work. ET increases to 40 days per year and more after 20 years. Once you accrue 1.5 times the annual accrual rate (up to 60 days or 61.5 days for those who've worked here more than 20 years), ET time stops accruing.
Another feature of the program, called Extended Sick Leave (ESL), allows time accrued over the maximum allotment to be banked for paid sick time. ESL can be used to cover the waiting period under Children's short-term disability program. For the first four days of any absence due to injury, illness or pregnancy, you are required to use ET; thereafter, you may use the ESL time you have accrued to date. If you have ESL, you can see it on your paycheck or the Self Service View Pay Check Link to ET balances in PeopleSoft.
We are committed to ensuring that Children's paid time off programs meet employees' needs while also keeping benefits affordable for the hospital. One fact employees should be aware of is the cost of one day of ET: If we were to add one day to our ET accrual for all eligible employees, it would cost the hospital $1.75 million per day added.
Employees are often curious about why our time off program differs from other employers. The primary reason is the nature of the health care business; we serve our patients 24 hours a day and must staff for this round-the-clock coverage. However, we continue to be competitive with other area hospitals.
Thanks for asking!
For more information on ET, refer to pages 14 to 16 of the 2008 Employee Benefits and Services Guide, located online.