Generally speaking, we use the term "benefits" to describe various things covered by insurance policies. But that's by no means an exhaustive definition; retirement plans, for example, are benefits, and flex-time hours certainly qualify, as well.
Perhaps the newest of these non-traditional "benefits" is "Paid Time Off." According to World At Work "(p)aid time off (PTO) banks help companies increase productivity and lower costs by reducing unscheduled absences." Basically, an employer "deposits" a certain value in an employee's benefit bank, against which the employee can draw; the benefit is that such time off is characterized not as "vacation" or "sick leave," just "time off."
In the event, according to Employee Benefit News, more companies are now installing such banks, and there's an increased interest in implementing them:
[Graphic courtesy of Employee Benefit News]
Who knew a simple day off could become such a big deal?