Board of Supervisors approve change to time off policy

Published 9:42 am Thursday, December 30, 2021

In an effort to curb employee turnover, the Board of Supervisors was presented with a proposed change to the employee handbook that would provide long term employees with more paid time off during the Board’s meeting on Dec. 20.

Economic Development District Director Lindsay Ward said she suggested the changes because the last time the handbook was updated was back in 2003. Her suggested changes were also aimed at ensuring quality employees remain employed with the county.

“Our county workers are the heart of our county, without them we would not be successful,” Ward said.

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The change she suggested moved the accrued time off from a monthly basis to a biweekly basis since county employees are paid biweekly. That change will mean county employees can accrue more time off in less time.

So, where as an employee who has been with the county for less than three years could accrue four hours per month of paid time off, that same employee would now accrue 5.5 hours per month. That figure increases with the employee’s length of employment based on tiers.

The number of hours that will carry over was also increased.

District II Supervisor Malcolm Perry expressed concern with the changes, especially with the amount of carryover hours that build up the more years an employee stays with the county, up to 240 hours. He said that due to the changes, it would not be very hard for an employee to build up a year of vacation time by the time they get ready to retire after decades of service.

County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin said that scenario would be unlikely to play out since a majority of all county employees take time off as soon as it is accrued.

“The county has a lot of employees, who when they accrue eight hours, they take eight hours,” Lumpkin said.

Ward said the change should be considered an investment in the county’s work force, especially those who deal directly with the public. At times the stress may lead to that employee needing to take some personal time off to relax.

After discussion of the matter, the District IV Supervisor Jason Spence made a motion to accept the changes, which was passed. Perry voted against the change.

Ward said the changes take effect on Jan. 1, 2022.