What Is a Personal Day? Definition and Examples

What is personal days off?

PTO vs. Vacation vs. Sick Leave: What Employers Need to Know | OnPay

Personal days vs. sick days

Personal days are for when you feel well enough to work, whereas sick days are for when you feel too ill to do so. Common illnesses like a cold or virus as well as more serious conditions like pneumonia or heart disease that demand hospitalization or surgery can both be covered by sick days. Personal days, however, include a wider variety of activities.

In addition to using a personal day if you or a loved one is ill, you can also use one to take a much-needed break after a busy workweek or to handle other personal matters (e.g. g. moving, attending a funeral or wedding).

What are personal days at work?

Employers provide personal days as an additional form of employee benefit in addition to sick days, PTO, and vacation days. Employees typically use personal days for jury duty, doctor’s appointments, sick children, and other personal reasons. However, if they run out of sick days or other types of time off, they may also use their personal days.

Personal days vs. PTO days

Personal days and PTO days differ in that PTO, also known as paid time off, has a broader definition and is frequently used for vacations or sick leave. Personal days, in contrast, denote conditions that necessitate time off from work, such as illness. Additionally, workers typically reserve PTO a few weeks in advance, whereas personal days may be required due to an unexpected illness or life event

Personal days vs. vacation days

Personal days are different from vacation days because vacation days are only used for vacation-related activities. Additionally, depending on your employer, the number of vacation days you receive might be determined by how long you’ve been employed there or by an accrual system in which your vacation time grows as you finish a predetermined number of workweeks. On the other hand, employers typically give employees a set number of personal days to use throughout the year. Personal days may or may not be compensated depending on the employer.

How to ask for a personal day

Here are five actions you can take to request a personal day:

1. Review your company schedule

Be sure to review your organization’s and department’s schedule for the day(s) you intend to be absent, unless there is a family emergency or another unforeseen circumstance. Make a note of any crucial deadlines or presentations that may call for your colleagues to fill in for you. Consider shifting your personal day(s) past those crucial dates if you can.

2. Ask coworkers for their help

Make sure to get in touch with your coworkers and ask them to cover for you while you’re away from work, whether you’re planning to take a personal day or something unexpectedly necessitates one. You could also say that you can cover for them if they ever need time off in the future. When requesting those days off from work, it can be helpful to know that at least one or more of your coworkers is willing to fill in for you.

3. Compose an email to your manager

It’s acceptable to request a personal day in person, but sending your manager a formal email will ensure that there is a record to support your request. Verify your company’s policies regarding sharing personal days because you might need to contact HR or add it to your company calendar.

4. Follow-up with your manager in-person

Make sure to speak with your manager face-to-face before taking your personal day or days to ensure they received your email and that it is acceptable. This is crucial in case they overlook your email or disregard your leave.

5. Express your gratitude

Make sure to express your gratitude to your coworkers for any tasks they completed on your behalf when you get back to work. Consider showing your appreciation by giving them a small gift, writing a card, or offering to bring them coffee if they had to prepare a presentation for you or complete another significant task.

Tips for using personal days

You can use the following advice to decide when and how to use your personal days:

Save them for when you really need rest

Although it may be simple to use personal days for enjoyable activities and extra vacation time, you should also keep them in mind in case you begin to experience work-related burnout. A personal day can give you the rest you need to return to work renewed, whether you have just finished a busy week at work or feel overwhelmed by your personal obligations, such as chores, appointments, and other commitments.

Furthermore, taking personal days is a great way to take care of personal needs for better focus on your job if your personal obligations are starting to affect your productivity at work.

Try to plan them around important work dates

Occasionally, you might need to take personal days because of an unexpected illness or other life event, but if you can plan them ahead of time, be sure to see if they conflict with crucial work observations. For instance, if you want to take a personal day to do laundry and take care of yourself, schedule it for the day after you’re expected to give new hires a tour of the office.

Give your coworkers notice ahead of time

Sending your coworkers an email or speaking to them in person when you need to take a personal day, even if it’s unexpected and unplanned, demonstrates your respect for their time and workload.

Refrain from checking your work email during your personal day

Your personal day is for you to attend family gatherings or take a break in response to events at home or at work. Set your work email and communication channels to “Do Not Disturb” mode as a result. This will enable you to concentrate on the purpose of your personal day rather than worrying about tasks related to your job.

Frequently asked questions about personal days off

You can learn more about personal days by reading the following additional questions and their responses:

Do employers have to offer personal days?

Can employers deny personal days?

Employers might not grant you personal days if you can’t show them how you’ll use them or give them any other justification. For instance, your employer might require a doctor’s note to support your claim that you need a personal day to recover from surgery. Most employers, however, ought to be understanding if you require a personal day due to a family emergency or medical procedure, and ought to permit you to use a personal day to handle business.

Do I need to state my reasoning for taking a personal day?

If you don’t feel comfortable doing so, you don’t have to explain why you’re taking a personal day. You can respond to any questions by saying, “I had a family emergency,” or “I was ill.” Keep in mind that your employer may inquire as to the reason for your request in order to ensure your well-being and determine whether you are able to continue working or need additional time off.

How many personal days does the average working American get each year?

Can personal days roll-over into the next year?

Personal days and other types of time off typically do not carry over into the following business year. This encourages workers to take time off when necessary in order to maintain their motivation and engagement at work. However, some employers might allow rollovers for specific types of time off; as a result, it’s important to review your company’s leave policies and consult with the HR department to find out what is and isn’t permitted.


How do you ask for personal days off?

7 ways to ask for time off just the right way
  1. Choose your time wisely. …
  2. Be specific and give relevant details. …
  3. Get caught up with all of your work. …
  4. Be fair with the rest of your team. …
  5. Make sure you ask, not tell. …
  6. Offer to help plan for when you’re away. …
  7. Request your time in writing.

Do I need to give a reason for a personal day?

But there is a reason why personal days are called that—they are days off from work. For lack of a better phrase, we’re not required to explain that we need the day off to handle a difficult family matter, get an annual colonoscopy, or take care of anything else that’s — really none of their business.

Are personal days different than sick days?

The definition of a sick day is fairly self-explanatory; it can be used for anything from the common cold to a more serious illness that may call for hospitalization or even surgery. Personal days can be used for events such as a child’s illness, a family member’s death, jury duty, military service, or religious holidays.

Is it OK to take a personal day?

To take a break, simply take a personal day. It’s challenging to tell your boss (as well as your coworkers) that you’re taking a day off for personal reasons while looking them in the eye. However, if your benefits include personal days, you should definitely use them.

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