The term personal day refers to an approved absence from work to attend a planned event. A personal day can be taken for a number of reasons, including attending weddings, birthday parties, and other family events. They can also be used when an emergency arises.
Also known as personal leave, personal days are considered a benefit when the employee receives compensation while absent from work. Companies are not required by law to provide their employees with paid personal days.
Employers can choose to provide employees with unpaid personal days, which allow workers to take time off from work if they've used all of their paid time off (vacation days). Unpaid personal days would not count against the employee from an absence control standpoint. This benefit allows employees to attend to matters such as a death in the family and religious holidays without the worry of being reprimanded by their supervisor. Employers are required to provide their employees with time off from work if they've been called to jury duty or military duty. These days can also be used if the employee needs to attend to a sick friend or relative.
Company policy on the use of personal days will be clearly spelled out in the employee benefits documentation. Unlike vacation days, which are normally a function of the employee's seniority, personal days are usually fixed in number. For example, all employees may be eligible to receive a maximum of five personal days in a calendar year. Company policy will also outline the rules for using personal days. For example, many companies do not allow employees to "bank" or carry unused personal days into the following calendar year. These rules may also require the employee to provide their supervisor with proper notification before taking time off from work.