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While some workers' needs for lexibility can be addressed by short Term Time Off (STO) or by a Flexible Work Arrangement (FWA), there are other workers who need time off on a more episodic basis. These workers may have an illness, such as cancer of kidney disease, which requires them to attend numerous medical appointments on a relatively set basis. Or they may have a chronic conditions, such as migraine headaches or fibromyalgia, that flares up sporadically. Some workers may care for family memebers who have recurring medical needs, such as an aging parent who requires regularly scheduled bi-weekly dialysis treatments, or a child with asthma who often must be taken to the emergency room on an unexpected basis.

Workplace Flexibility 2010 has coined the term "Episodic Time Off" or "EPTO" to describe the type of workplace flexibility needed to address the recurring need for time off - sometimes regular, sometimes sporadic, sometimes foreseeable, sometimes not - for which Short Term Time Off is insufficient and which a Flexible Work Arrangement cannot resolve. Evidence illustrates that across the lifespan, for a variety of reasons, the need and desire for EPTO are great.