Who Really Wants Unlimited Paid Vacation

By : Peter Cappelli

As we approach the holidays, its that time of year when people are anticipating taking a vacation, going someplace warm, with or without the kids. So workplace vacation policy is in the news right now. Recently, on an episode of my SiriusXM radio show, In The Workplace, co-host Dan OMeara, a labor attorney and Managing Director of the Wharton Council on Employee Relations, and I debated the merits of unlimited vacation, a fairly new concept where companies abandon the traditional policy of defined, accrued time off in place of removing a cap on the number of days that employees can take vacation. Despite more big companies choosing to adopt this new trend such as LinkedIn and Netflix unlimited vacation is still a relatively rare occurrence: roughly 1% of companies in the U.S. have an unlimited paid-time-off policy, according to an article in Fortune magazine. So why offer unlimited vacation? It seems to me employers are faced with employees working too hard yet unwilling to take time off. 75 percent of Americans never take their full vacation time and 42 percent never take any of the vacation time they are allowed in a given year. Management is worried about employee burnout and believe its important to take a vacation or a few days off once in a while in an effort to regroup. That being said, unlimited vacation doesnt mean you can take a vacation whenever you want. You still need to get approval from your supervisor. The onus is on the supervisor to effectively manage the policy so that employees dont abuse it by asking for vacation days all the time. Is there a possibility for abuse? Sure. But the statistics suggest that the opposite is true. We are not even getting people to take the vacations they are allowed to take or in certain instances, being told to take. So were seeing the opposite issue right now. If he were a department head or a supervisor, Dan said he would hate the concept of unlimited vacation. Certain employees will barely want to take advantage of it and others will want to push for time off, all of the sudden. Because theres no two or three week cap, youll deal with people who will want to make that work for them. Its hard to imagine there wont be employees who get annoyed when their peers can get away with it. There could be issues of equity. One of our listeners, Frank, said he loved the idea of unlimited vacation, as long as everybody got their work done and nobody dropped the ball. If Im flexible as to the days Im given, Im going to take a Thursday here or a Friday there and come back on Monday feeling happier and more productive. I think its mutually beneficial for the employee and the business. I believe the idea of unlimited vacation is in part a way to shift the workplace culture from a sense of entitlement when it comes to days off to one that says, Im going to look after you and you look after me, and if you need to take a day off here or there, take it, and well all understand.

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Uploaded By : Nurlianti Auliani
Last Update : 29/12/2016

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