Pros and Cons of Allowing Employees to Make Up Partial Days Off

We all know that since the U.S. tends to run on a 9 to 5 cycle, scheduling appointments or other engagements can be tough to do without missing work. How though, as a human resources pro, do you wrestle with the partial days off employees tend to take? Do you allow employees to make up their partial days off or do they get marked down as vacation days? Listed below are some pros and cons to allowing employees to make up partial days off.

First off, for those offices with flextime, making up partial days off presents less of a challenge. You may be able to offer employees the ability to come in early that day, or stay late. There’s a chance flextime employees can make up their time off in one day, during flex hours, with no problems.

If your company doesn’t offer flextime, on the other hand, there are some pros and cons to allowing employees to make up their partial days off as opposed to subtracting them from an employee’s vacation/personal days. On the one hand, if an employee is willing to work extended hours there may not be a reason to punish them for something they may have to do. However, this can raise issues with employees who wish to work non-traditional hours more often. The precedent becomes set for people to come in late or leave early based on loosely defined criteria.

A lot of the decision depends on the expectations of employees outside the office. If an employee is expected to do work outside of the office when necessary, it’s harder to allow partial days to be made up because hours are expected even outside the typical 9-5. That being said, there also needs to be more flexibility and excellent communication to employees on expectations of work time. If an employee is not allowed to make up partial time off but then spends an extra five hours working after-hours, you need to provide that employee with some flexibility–otherwise their window for doctor’s appointments, car repairs, and other necessities is nearly zero.

Allowing employees to make up partial days really depends on the company culture and the requirements of the job. If you offer flextime, it becomes easier for employees to make up time within the framed work day. Either way, make sure you clearly explain to employees if this is acceptable or not, and under what circumstances they can make up the time.

Does your company allow its employees to make up partial days off? Has this topic ever been an issue in your office? Leave a comment to share your experience.

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