Should your employer pay for your vacation?

richard_mcmunnThe following is a guest post by Richard McMunn, founder of How2become. McMunn established the company in 2005 while working as a Fire Officer for Kent Fire & Rescue Service. Since writing his first book on how to become a firefighter, Richard has gone on to author various titles spanning across multiple careers . The company has grown and developed into the UK’s leading careers information and development website.

Brightly Painted Fishing Boats on a Caribbean Beach, Crash BoatAs each year goes by, businesses look to become more efficient and profitable, often at the expense of the workforce. They ask their people to put in longer hours, often for little or no additional compensation. Productivity pressure often has a detrimental effect on workers’ mental health and leads to burnout.


A burned out employee is certainly less productive than a fresh one, so does the pattern make any sense? Many employers are starting to realize that they need to come up with a solution. One novel idea is for employers to pay for their staff’s vacation every year.

It is fair to say that the initial reactions to ideas like this are extremely mixed. Employers looking to maintain strict budgets often barely see outside of their pie-charts and wouldn’t dream of entertaining yet more overhead. On the other hand, more open minded employers and businesses can see the many benefits to doing this, and employees themselves can hardly have a bad word to say about it.

Mandatory relaxation

The point of an employer paying for an employee’s vacation is push for relaxation that will result in an employee who is fully charged, but some people choose to put certain restrictions on the deal. Some employers make a point of saying that work laptops and phones should not be taken on the company-sponsored vacation. In today’s interconnected world, people rarely switch off. We forget that this is the entire point of a vacation. Some firms offering this benefit have even gone so far as disabling the work email address for the duration of the vacation.

This complete separation from work during a paid for holiday does both the employee and the workplace good, but the benefits to both parties don’t end there. On their return, an employee is likely to be far more enthusiastic about the company that they work for and far more committed than someone who doesn’t have this benefit. From the employer’s point of view, an appreciative, fully rested and enthusiastic employee is far more productive than an over-worked and over-stressed one.

Recruiting benefit

An added benefit is the recruiting potential of a program that helps with work-life balance. Businesses that compete for a limited number of employees need ways to compete beyond just salary. This is also great for businesses looking to expand quickly and also good for businesses looking to attract employees of exceptional quality.

This might not be suitable for every business model, but there are many industries where it would be a worthwhile consideration. Whether it is the IT industry, banking or real estate, rewarding staff with a paid vacation makes them feel valued in addition to enabling them the chance to switch off completely from work once a year. In return, an employer has a happy staff who arrive back fresh and ready to go once more from their vacation. It doesn’t get any better than that.

How2become is the UK’s leading career specialist with the simple goal of helping people prepare and pass tough recruitment processes in order to secure their dream job whether that is a police officer, train driver, firefighter or paramedic. How 2 become currently offers over 150 different titles across a wide range of careers providing insider information to help you prepare effectively. You can also connect with How2become on Facebook.


Categories: Future of work, Human Resources

Author:Jeanne Roué-Taylor

I'm fascinated by disruptive technology and its impact on our world. I manage sales operations for an excellent startup with a unique team of highly experienced data scientists.

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