Paid Time Off

Last modified by Catherine Scallen on October 16th, 2019 at 10:08 pm.
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Nice, a fresh one!

27 days of PTO are available to all team members, which we group internally into three categories: 10 days for holidays, 15 days for vacation time off, and 2 sick days. In effect, these are no different in Kin and you’ll see 27 days (216 hours) of PTO available, but they’re treated slightly differently at the end of the year.

Every full-time team member gets 10 days (80 hours) of holiday paid time-off each year. This is in lieu of keeping a company holiday calendar for each country. To take off on a holiday in your country, you must enter time off in Kin. For example, US employees who want to take off on July 4th will need to enter this day for PTO. This allows us to offer holidays to all employees without setting defined holiday calendars for each country, and you can choose which holidays you’d like to take off.

It doesn’t matter whether you use this leave for holidays or vacation; the first 10 days of leave are applied towards “holidays.”

Everyone also gets 3 weeks (15 days, or 120 hours) of “vacation” paid time-off each year, earned immediately on January 1st of each year for use. Because PTO doesn’t roll over, we’ll pay out remaining PTO balances up to a maximum of 7 days at the end of the year, upon completion of a successful year (at our discretion.)

Finally, each employee has 2 sick days logged in Kin — these days are there for your illness or family illness, and are not available to be paid out at the end of the year. If you’re not feeling well, please use them! 🙂

Taking PTO throughout the year is essential– rest and relaxation is important! To encourage this, managers will gently nudge team members if they notice a lack of PTO being used.

For payment purposes, PTO is accrued at a rate of 1.5 days per month. If you’re hired mid-year, PTO is prorated based on your date of hire. You cannot use PTO during the trial period (first 30 days).

PTO vs. Sick Days

As a distributed company with flexible hours, we have two simple guidelines around when to take a sick day, vs when to make that time up later:

  1. If you’re not feeling well and need to take a few hours off, you may make up the time later in the day or the next day.
  2. If you’re too sick to work the majority of the day, you should let the team know and take a sick day. We want everyone to focus on being healthy, so use your best judgement and don’t feel pressured to come into work (so to speak) if you’re not feeling up to it.

Each team member also gets 2 sick days in addition to the 25 days of regular PTO to help make the decision-making process easier. Just note in your Time Off request in Kin that you’d like to use the time for a sick day.

To recap:

You have up to 25 days of PTO to use for vacation and national holidays; up to 7 days of this would be paid out at the end of the calendar year if not taken (accrued at 1.5 days per month). We encourage you to take off during national holidays in your country! You have 2 sick days as well.

Company Holidays

We have two additional company holidays that fall outside of this PTO policy, and are available to everyone without entering them during each year:

  • SkyVerge Day – First Friday in March. This celebrates the company founding (March 2013) and you’re strongly encouraged to wear some SkyVerge gear and wish the company a happy birthday.
  • Founders’ Day – Last Friday in June. Max & Justin’s birthdays are at the end of June so they figured there was no better way to make sure everyone remembered than by giving the whole company off. It is most definitely, positively, certainly not vanity and shame on you for thinking that.

PTO Accrual/Payout Example

Your trial period is completed and you are hired on June 1. You immediately earn 10.5 days of PTO (for the remaining 7 months in the year from June to December). Between June and December 31, you use 6 days of PTO. On December 31st you are paid the remaining balance of accrued PTO of 4.5 days and then on January 1st you earn a new set of 25 days (holidays and vacation) in PTO.

PTO vs Flexible Hours

As we’re a remote company, we embrace the ability to set your own hours and work on your schedule. As such, it’s sometimes tough to know when to take PTO. For example, if your mom’s in town and you want to go to lunch, do you take PTO? What if you have a dentist appointment? For a lot of situations, taking PTO or not will be up to you.

You should put in PTO time if you’re:

  • Going to miss team meetings or town halls
  • Going to be out for at least half a day and will not make that time up either later or the next day
  • Going to be completely unreachable for a day
  • Going to be unreachable for consecutive days

You shouldn’t take PTO time if:

  • You’ll be out for part of the day, but you’re working later or the next day to make the time up.

For example, you end a bit early on Friday and catch up on Sunday afternoon – totally fine. You want to go grab lunch with a friend tomorrow, so you spend some extra time tonight wrapping up your project — also cool. We’re results-oriented, and more concerned with, “What did I accomplish this week?” than, “Was I at my desk for precisely 8 hours today?”

Working remotely with flexible hours is awesome, and is a benefit in and of itself that we want everyone to enjoy. You’re an adult with good judgment, so we just expect you to use your very best judgment as to when and how you’re working.

If you’re not sure whether something requires PTO or not, feel free to reach out to Catherine for clarification.

How to request PTO

  1. Log into Kin (login required)
  2. Go to You > Time Off
  3. Click “Request Time Off”
  4. Select a date range (or time), enter what it’s for (e.g. “Vacation”) and hit “Enter Time”
  5. That’s it! Your team lead will get a notification, approve the request, and it will be added to the Kin calendar

How far in advance to request PTO

If you’ll be out for a week or more, please put in your PTO request at least 1 month ahead of time for every continuous week that you plan to be out of the office (as it were). So if you’ll be out for 1 week, a month in advance, 2 consecutive weeks = 2 months. Even if you haven’t decided on exact dates, advanced notice for vacations ensures project planning can shift to accommodate this.

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