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Working for a business that implements an unlimited vacation policy sounds like a dream. However, the practice is proving to be worrisome for mostly employees, and in some cases, for employers. Studies suggest workers tend to err at the side of caution and not take enough days of. Whereas the possiblibity of some abusing the policy, also exists.

Win-win situation

Both groups can benefit from such policies

Employers who care about their employees, definitely get advantage in the long run to achieve their financial as well as social responsibility goals. Unlimited vacation is one of the tools, which can be used to make both, employer and employee happy if it is used in a controlled manner.

In today’s stressful life, every employee wants to relax a bit and even employers suggest their workers to be relaxed and live a stress-free life. However, may be due to the nature of the job, many are not able to lead such an ideal life.

Oftentimes, even annual leave time is subject to the availability of other resources. We now and then hear about the recession and low economic growth, and people are losing their jobs all over the world, in this situation employees would rarely think about the unlimited vacation time.

However, the policy could be used by the employees to retain the best talent in the organisation and to maintain the work-life balance, which could definitely boost the morale of the employees to result in more productivity.

From Mr Maqsoodul Haq

Banker based in Sharjah

Impractical policy

Such policies can hinder productivity

As a person who has been an employee and now an employer, I can say from both perspectives that unlimited vacation even if unpaid is not a viable thought. As an employee it sounds enticing but we need to understand that businesses run on the efficiency of their employees and frequent absenteeism may lead to lapses and lower productivity. The constant handovers can be cumbersome, as a result companies may suffer and may lead to delay in salaries or lead to job cuts. People tend to see businesses as cash machines but in reality immense hard work and finances go into setting up a company and it sustains on profit. Vacations are good but they require money and this might create disparities between staff who can afford to take multiple vacations and those that cannot, also companies suffering will lead to job cuts and no job, no vacation. Employees value a workplace that values them, the best way to increase morale of employees is to treat them with respect, provide increment, dues and leaves on time and if required emergency leaves for legitimate reasons. Most importantly elevate morale by succession planning and the assurance of growth within organisations.

From Ms Mahnaaz Shaikh

Owner and managing director at a management and marketing consultancy based in Dubai

Would not work

It would be detrimental to employees as well as businesses

It is a give and take scenario here. Some employees may take it as one of the best options but with the current economic situation, it is quite scary if your company is giving you unlimited vacation days. One might think that there is something wrong in the company thus some may start looking for other positions. For the company I am a part of, since most of our staff are practically millennials and most of them enjoy discovering the world – they would love to have this.

I know couple of companies who are doing this especially during summer time when the business slows down. They give unlimited unpaid leave to their staff. Which is quite interesting to say the least.

However, if the days off are unpaid, employees will eventually start to realise that economically it is not viable or they would start to check their bank accounts, they would know that there is definitely something called ‘too much vacation time’.

From Mr Jerry Selayro

Human resources manager based in Dubai

Do you think unlimited vacation policies are good for employee morale?

Yes: 66%

No: 34%

Have your say

In what ways is an ‘unlimited vacation’ policy problematic for employees?