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Unlimited holiday entitlement – Does it work?   

30 March 2022 | Cecily Donoghue

Stockbrokers at London firm FinCapp have decided to give their employees unlimited holiday entitlement. After a bumper 6 months for workload and profit, the business has decided to introduce the policy to guard against staff burn out. The move will flip the standard holiday policy on its head – instead of a maximum limit, the company will instead introduce a minimum level of holiday for employees. Staff will be required to take a minimum of 4 weeks off per year and a few days per quarter to ensure they get regular breaks. 

Problems with unlimited holiday entitlement 

This policy might seem too good to be true and for many businesses it probably is. Software business CharlieHR had a similar policy and found it actually had the reverse of the intended effect. The business found that the policy made employees anxious rather than relaxed and left them wondering exactly how much holiday was acceptable. There could be other issues too. Staff who are paid in part based on bonus or commission will be discouraged from taking too much holiday for fear that their pay will plummet, or colleagues will muscle in on their best clients. Like the bottomless beer, the reality is that an unlimited holiday policy will never be genuinely unlimited – at some point there will be a tipping point into the unacceptable. 

Should employers offer unlimited holiday? 

FinCapp are obviously after a culture change. As well as the unlimited holiday policy, the firm also says that employees can have extra time off (which won’t count as holiday) to do those all-important tasks like taking a pet to the vet or getting the boiler fixed. No doubt employees will find this perk invaluable, buying far more goodwill than an hour or two off work will cost the employer.   

Within a supportive business, where employees and employers trust each other to give and take within appropriate parameters, time off may not be unlimited, but the flexibility it creates could be priceless.  

Specialist employment law advice 

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The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.

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