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  • Helen Manson

Unlimited Annual Leave Policy? Not as crazy as it sounds


Unlimited annual leave policies are the current 'hot topic' among progressive businesses looking to refresh the way they manage their workforce.

Flexible working is something many businesses have embraced over the past 5 to 10 years, with positive results in most cases.

But it seems the wheels of industry continue to demand further change when ensuring businesses maintain optimum productivity and retain their highest talent.

Unlimited Annual Leave policies are gradually being trialed across a number of smaller businesses both in the UK and the States. One such company - Mammouth - trialed an Unlimited Annual Leave Policy for one year with the aim of improving work life balance, retaining their highest performers and building trust with their employees.

Over the course of the year, employees rated the new policy as their third highest benefit, above dental, vision and even professional development. This, of course, is hardly surprising.

What may be surprising, however, is over the course of the year, employees took roughly the same amount of time off work as they had done previousy. No more, no less. Employees were still taking, on average, 14 days off per year.

Which then begs the question - why bother introducing the new policy at all? Because it's more about what the policy says rather than what it does.

It reflects something ComplexHR believes strongly in - employees should be given the responsibility to ensure they meet the demands of their work whilst exercising flexibility to manage life outside of the workplace.

Secondly, an Unlimited Annual Leave Policy conveys trust, making employees - not HR or their Line Managers - responsible for making sure their work is carried out regardless of their time off.

Such a policy also treats employees as individuals - gone are the days (a long time ago) when one policy fits all. Time off is a personal issue. Requests to take time off will vary person to person, year to year.

If this is something you've been thinking about - or haven't ever thought about but would like to know more - please contact us for a chat about the impact this may have on your business.


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