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March 1992, Vol. 115, No. 3
Michael A. Miller
F or the first time, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has obtained comprehensive data on time-off benefits in small establishments from its Employee Benefits Survey. This article presents an overview of these findings and compares the data with time-off benefits for employees of larger establishments and State and local governments.
The data on the incidence and details of employee benefit plans among full-time workers in small establishments1 were collected in 1990 and cover private sector establishments in the United States employing fewer than 100 workers, except farms and private households. All workers in these establishments were covered except the self employed. This survey, the first ever in small establishments, provides similar data to the 1989 medium and large establishments surveys2 and the 1990 State and local government survey.3
The survey looked only at formal time-off plans, where provisions are established and employees can expect to receive benefits. Additional time off may be available, especially in small establishments, on an informal basis. An employer may provide time off to one employee but not another, based on employee performance. The discretionary nature of such benefits makes tabulation difficult; at present, the survey does not have data on informal leave.
The availability and details of time-off benefits varies widely by size of the establishment. While larger establishments (100 workers or more) may offer a full range of formal leave plans designed to provide time off for vacations, sickness, funerals, and other personal commitments, smaller establishments (fewer than 100 workers) may provide time off only for holidays, or may base time-off policies on individual performance.
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1 Employee Benefits in Small Private Establishments, 1990, Bulletin 2388 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1991).
2 Employee Benefits in Medium and Large Firms, 1989, Bulletin 2363 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1990)
3 Employee Benefits in State and Local Governments, 1990, Bulletin 2389 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1992)
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