Whether you’re hoping to extend a weekend getaway or just want some extra pocket money, buying or selling your vacation days could be the answer.
According to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, 9% of companies let employees exchange vacation days for cash, while 5% offer days for sale and 7% allow them to be donated a collective fund that’s shared with other employees.
Companies that pool sick days, personal days and vacation time in one paid time off plan are more likely to let employees either cash-out or donate their unused days. The number of companies that offer plans like these has increased in recent years, from 42% in 2009 to 52% in 2013.
Workers usually buy into the exchange program in the fall for the equivalent of one week’s salary prorated over the upcoming year.
While there is often a limit on the amount of time that can be purchased or sold, some companies even allow employees to use unused vacation days to buy other perks, such as increased life or health insurance benefits.
Letting employees barter vacation days is a low-cost way to let workers take charge of their time, Julie Stich, research director for the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, told the Associated Press. New hires who haven’t yet earned much vacation time are especially likely to find the program valuable, she said.
RELATED: What’s Your Time Worth?