• Blog
  • October 4, 2021

How Unlimited Annual Leave Has Unlimited Benefits

The average UK employee only takes 62% of their annual leave allowance. However, 79% of British employees experience work-related stress. Why is this the case? Are we a nation of workaholics?

If so, how could this be solved? Possibly, by offering unlimited annual leave. On the surface, it sounds like madness, giving employees no limit on the amount of time off they can take. What if they take 4 months off? Then what? However, the truth isn’t as terrible as it may seem because some companies have done this, and they are still operating, thriving even. Companies such as:

So, the questions you’re probably asking are: What are the benefits, and how can I do this?

The key benefits of unlimited vacation are:

  • A culture that encourages a healthy work/life balance
  • More productive employees
  • Happier employees
  • A more attractive employer brand
  • Higher profits/revenues
  • Better customer acquisition and retention

In a nutshell, if done right, unlimited annual leave really can have unlimited benefits. Some things to be mindful of when trying to emulate the aforementioned companies are:

Setting out and sticking to clear expectations – Obviously, if everyone were to simply jet off on holiday at the same time, this type of annual leave policy wouldn’t work. Ensuring that employees are expected to clearly communicate their annual leave plans to colleagues and line managers as far in advance as possible can aid the process.

Sticking to a balance between work and life – It can be easy to slip into a ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality if you can have unlimited annual leave. This can create an unhealthy ‘pendulum’ type effect where someone works themselves to burnout before taking a 3-week holiday to recover and repeating the process. The policy must be a part of the healthy culture, not a vehicle to recover from an unhealthy one.

Iteration is mandatory – Nothing remains the same forever. Over time, you will need to make changes to this policy to respond to either internal or external changes in circumstances. This won’t be a ‘do it and leave it alone’ type tactic.

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