Will We See A Rise In Unlimited Annual Leave Amongst Candidates Needs?

Will We See A Rise In Unlimited Annual Leave Amongst Candidates Needs?


Since the pandemic, employees have become increasingly connected with one another resulting in many companies actively pushing remote and hybrid working positions across the globe in order to source the best talent.

This connectivity has led to finding time away from the demands of a stressful job are becoming more and more difficult. It is often a challenge for those in demanding roles to get any amount of time off let alone use all their allocated annual leave!

It may have come as a surprise to many to read that an internationally renowned investment bank, Goldman Sachs, announced that senior staff are being moved to a ‘flexible vacation’ policy which will permit time off when needed and not adhering to fixed maximum days per annum.

The unlimited vacation is on the basis that the employee’s work is done, or the break will not disrupt the business. What’s more, employees will be able to cancel a day’s leave if something urgent comes up at work.

This change is to give employees a decent amount of time off to support their health and wellbeing. But, will other organisations and companies follow suit?


Holiday entitlement in the UK

Regulations on working time, particularly regarding holidays, are in place to safeguard employee health and safety. Employers must meet their statutory minimum obligations with regard to holidays.

Under the Working Time Regulations 1998, workers are entitled to 5.6 weeks' holiday each year and payment in lieu of accrued but an untaken holiday on termination. Employers can offer more generous holiday entitlements, and many do.

Employers also have a responsibility to try and ensure that workers take their statutory minimum entitlement. This requires businesses to show that they enable their workers, through the provision of sufficient information, to take their annual leave.


Benefits of unlimited annual leave

Unlimited holidays can work for some businesses and sectors, in today’s environment, it might act as a great benefit to entice new, often younger, starters to join a company. Some benefits include:

  • Wellbeing – providing employees with the ability to take more time off could help improve work/life balance such as Goldman Sachs. If staff don't have to worry about their remaining holiday entitlement or how to balance their work with other personal commitments, they may feel more empowered to manage their own workload, which makes them feel trusted, valued, and respected.
  • Recruitment and retention – having unlimited holidays is a perk that could help attract more talent to the business. Equally, it could also help retain existing employees if they are given freedom and flexibility and trusted to manage their own workload.
  • Improves productivity – overworking can lead to stress, anxiety, illness and absence which can impact productivity and also have tangible financial impacts on a business. Awarding staff with as much time off as they need can help prevent this!

In conclusion, it may be worth engaging with your staff and key stakeholders to get a better idea of the appetite for such a policy before committing to its implementation.