Prorated PTO

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Prorated PTO

What Does Prorated PTO Mean?

Prorated Paid Time Off (PTO) refers to the amount of vacation time that an employee earns, which is adjusted proportionally based on their work schedule or tenure with the company. This concept is commonly applied in scenarios where employees do not work a full calendar year, either due to starting partway through the year, leaving before the year ends, or working on a part-time basis. Prorated PTO ensures that employees receive a fair amount of vacation time, reflective of the actual time they work.

What Are the Common Accrual Rates Used to Prorate Vacation Time Off?


In a yearly accrual system, employees are typically allocated a set number of vacation days for the entire year. The total annual PTO is prorated if an employee starts or leaves partway through the year. For instance, if the standard PTO is 20 days per year and an employee starts in July, they would be eligible for half of those days (10 days) for that year. This method is straightforward and often used for salaried employees.


Monthly accrual divides the annual vacation days into monthly increments. Employees earn a fixed portion of their annual PTO each month. For example, with 12 vacation days a year, employees accrue a day per month. If an employee begins their employment in April, they will accrue PTO from April to December, totaling 9 days for the year.

Semi-Monthly or Biweekly

In semi-monthly or biweekly accrual systems, vacation days accrue every half-month or every two weeks, respectively. This is particularly beneficial for hourly employees or those with irregular schedules. For example, if an employee is entitled to 24 days of PTO per year, in a biweekly system, they would accrue approximately 0.92 days every two weeks.


Hourly accrual is the most detailed, with PTO accruing based on hours worked. This is particularly suitable for part-time or temporary employees. For example, an employee might accrue 1 hour of PTO for every 40 hours worked. This system ensures precise proration based on the actual hours an employee works.

How to Calculate Prorated PTO?

How to Calculate Prorated Vacation for Full-Time Employees?

Calculating prorated vacation for full-time employees involves several steps, focusing on the portion of the year they work. This calculation is particularly relevant for those who join or leave the company mid-year.

  1. Determine Annual Vacation Entitlement: Begin by establishing the total number of vacation days an employee is entitled to in a full year. For example, suppose a company offers 20 vacation days annually.
  2. Calculate the Daily Accrual Rate: Divide the total annual vacation days by the number of working days in a year to find the daily accrual rate. Assuming a standard work year has about 260 working days (52 weeks × 5 workdays, excluding weekends), the daily accrual rate would be 20/260 = 0.077 days per working day.
  3. Assess Employment Duration within the Year: Determine the number of working days the employee will be employed during the year. For instance, if an employee starts on April 1st, count the working days from April 1st to the end of the year.
  4. Calculate Prorated Vacation Days: Multiply the number of working days the daily accrual rate employs the employee. This figure represents the prorated vacation days the employee is entitled to for that year.
  5. Adjust for Company Policies: Some companies might round the total number of days up or down or have specific policies for handling fractions of days.

How to Calculate Prorated Vacation for Part-Time Employees?

For part-time employees, the prorated vacation calculation must account for their reduced working hours. This ensures equity in PTO accrual relative to full-time employees.

  1. Determine Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) Vacation Entitlement: Start with the total vacation days a full-time employee would receive. For example, if a full-time employee gets 20 days, this is the baseline.
  2. Calculate the Part-Time Employee's FTE Ratio: Determine the ratio of the part-time employee's working hours to a full-time schedule. For instance, if a full-time schedule is 40 hours per week and the part-time employee works 20 hours per week, their FTE ratio is 20/40 or 0.5.
  3. Apply the FTE Ratio to the Full-Time Vacation Entitlement: Multiply the full-time vacation entitlement by the part-time FTE ratio. Using the earlier example, a part-time employee would be entitled to 20 days × 0.5 = 10 days of vacation per year.
  4. Prorate Based on Employment Duration: If the part-time employee starts or leaves partway through the year, further prorate the vacation days based on their employment duration, similar to the method for full-time employees.
  5. Consider Specific Work Patterns: For employees with irregular schedules, calculate the average hours worked per week over a representative period, and use this to determine the FTE ratio.

Both methods ensure that vacation days are fairly allocated, respecting the proportion of the year or the proportion of full-time hours that the employee works. This approach maintains equity in PTO allocation across different types of employment within a company.

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