Dealership Time Off

Author: Amy Volk | Posted: 1/2/2014
by Kathryn Carlson, KPA, VP of HR Management Products

The winter holidays are quickly approaching, which means many employees will be requesting time off. For some companies, the holidays offer a lull in business, making it a great time for employees to take vacations. Dealerships can be different; often times, for dealers, the holidays are actually the busiest period of the year.  How can you balance good employee relationships against business needs?  As you consider upcoming vacation requests now is a good time to review your paid time off policy.

Consider the following:

Do you offer PTO to all of your employees or just full-time employees?
In years past, only full-time employees were generally offered paid time off (PTO). However, many dealerships have changed their policies. Currently, part-time employees are now a larger part of the work force, which forces the need to offer them PTO. Recent policies frequently offer adjusted portions of what benefits full-time employees may receive to part-time employees. Research by the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that 35% of part-time employees receive paid vacations. How does this factor into your dealership?

Do you allow for accrual of vacation time or just grant the time?
Vacation accrual varies and is based on what works best for individual dealerships. Choosing the method for your dealership is dependent upon your individual needs. The most common vacation accrual methods are as follows:

  1. Month-to-month accrual: this method earns employees an exact amount of vacation per month and is based on a fraction of their yearly amount of vacation time. This is a valuable method for employee retention.
  2. Number of months worked: this method bases the vacation period on the number of months worked and is not available until the next calendar year. This method enforces that vacation time is based on long-term, continued employment. 
  3. Full year’s vacation: this method allocates an entire year’s worth of vacation on January 1. This is the simplest method of vacation distribution as it does not require tracking of accrual, but does often result in prepaid vacation benefits.

Is the number of your paid time off days competitive in the local labor market?
In an effort to retain employees, it is important to make certain that your PTO is competitive in the dealer market. Vacation time is a benefit, and if employees feel that they may have a better opportunity elsewhere the enticement of a better vacation and benefit packages may lure them away. Benefits can help break a job offer tie when the position and salary are similar.

Is your policy in compliance with state laws?
Paid time off is a benefit, which means that it is not required under federal law. However, some states do have requirements regarding granting and administration of paid time off. Before making any changes to your vacation policy, make sure that they adhere to your state’s requirements. 

For more information vacation and paid time off policies, contact

This article is provided by KPA, a recommended partner of your State or National Association providing HR Management software services for Auto, Heavy Equipment/Agricultural, Motorcycle, RV, and Truck Dealers. If you have additional questions, please contact KPA at or 800.853.9659.