A popular proverb goes by “With great power comes great responsibility”. This can be applied in work ethics too. Alternatively known as the Peter Parker Principle, this means that when you are in a position of power or are duty-bound, you are also expected to fulfill your responsibilities. As long as you do not recognize your responsibility, you will also not recognize the opportunities you are or are not entitled to. Today’s topic- How many days is it acceptable to miss work in a month?
Now, if your question is to know exactly how many days you can skip work, be it in your office, company, or business, the answer would be that there is no specific number of days that is acceptable per se. However, to consider a meticulous decision, it is important to first understand some of the terms related to leaves and day offs in the employment sector.
Average Paid Time Off in the States
While the reasons for missing work might be extremely varied, they can be categorized into different time offs. For instance:
- Paid holidays – this pertains to the number of paid holidays you are entitled to because of some national holidays. However, such days depend on how the company acknowledges them
- Sick days- the days when you skip work because of an injury or illness. Usually, the employer decides if they want to offer you sick leave or not.
- Paid time off – these are the days off that an employee is entitled to without his or her regular wages being cut. It depends on the geography of the office too.
For instance, across the US, in the Midwestern states like Kansas, Iowa, Ohio, etc, the average Paid Time Off is 8.5 days, while in the North Eastern States like New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, etc, it is an average of 11.4 days.
Paid Leaves across the States
A majority of countries have been seeing the introduction of agreements detailing the minimum number of paid leaves that an employee is entitled to. However, the scenario in the United States is quite different. According to the United States Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), full-time employees are entitled to an average of ten days of leave after a year of service.
Apart from that, 77 percent of employers in the private sector offer their employees paid time off during public holidays on an average of eight days per year. Some employers do not offer vacation at all. The usual pattern that follows is that the average number of paid vacations in the private sector is ten days after a year (as already mentioned above), 14 days after 5 years, 17 days after 10 years tenure, and 20 days after a tenure of 20 years.
However, the power to decide the number of days that you want to miss should be entirely in your hands. In this article, we have curated some of the logical explanations given by life coaches.
Following the path of truth and responsibility
The first thing that needs to be kept in mind is to live and give your best in the present without fussing over the number of days that you ought to skip in the future. Sail through your work responsibly, while prioritizing yourself too. Instead of searching about how many days is it acceptable to miss work and reading about what other people suggest or command you to do, start trying to have clarity of mind to take action that the moment needs. Instead of randomly following everything that is written on the internet. If you are true to yourself and your work, no boss would be able to shower his or her authority on you, even if you need to miss your work for some genuine reason. This sense of truth also should never be overridden by anyone, not even your boss.
Bottom line is that, do not allow your truthful and honest self to blindly agree with the boss who arbitrarily decides that your application for leave needs to be canceled. That being said, of course, try not to miss work. And if the situation demands, do not take unnecessary leaves too: for instance, missing work just because the weather was hot today or because you are still hungover from the previous night’s party, are some of the stupidest excuses that need to be avoided. The ideal path is hence there should be an absolute amalgamation of work and truthfulness.
- Suppose you are down with a high fever and have a meeting tomorrow. You inform your boss but he or she still insists that you positively attend the meeting. You on the other hand are aware of the fact that the schedule of the meeting is not rigid and even if it is otherwise, can be substituted by one of your colleagues. On the other hand, your doctor has also prescribed you to take rest for at least three days.
In such a situation, where the boss is surely aware of your condition but still pretends to be unaware of it and does not take responsibility for your health condition, the best thing would be to prioritize your health and miss work. If you still attend the meeting, you will only support and encourage the unhealthy behavioral pattern of your boss. You will continue feeling sick and miserable the whole day and your boss will end up feeling virtuous even after ignoring the truth. Taking days off when you are sick, that too with a contagious disease, or when you are met with some familial crisis should be considered.
- Now imagine almost a similar situation, but this time you decide to go. This is because the meeting would have a huge impact on the company and only you are aware of the nitty-gritty of the project to be presented since you are the project leader. Your absence would potentially save the company that would otherwise suffer from a heavy loss. Even if your boss insists you take leave and rest at home, you come to the office and prove your integrity.
In such a situation, dragging yourself to the office would only make both you and your boss proud and continue to become responsible at the workspace. Skipping work in such cases does not sound like the right option. Apart from that, try not to miss work for vain reasons because, first, you already receive paid time off, sick leaves, and vacations. Secondly, your employers have hired and paid you for your work. So do justice with it.
There is no exact number of days that is acceptable in the employment sector to miss. Since it varies not just from one employer or organization to another but also from one age, region, and years of service to another. Each company or employer has his or her own set of rules and regulations that are imposed across all the employees. While some offer sick leave and benefits, others do not. Deciding the number of personal leaves that you would usually be granted depends on how much time your employer would allow you to use. Nonetheless, keeping the technicalities in your mind hand in hand with your integrity and responsibility, you should be able to make a conscious decision as to how many days is acceptable to miss work. And if so, why.