A Shift In Policy: Unlimited Vacation Days

Good news, folks: More U.S. companies are offering unlimited vacation days. What’s more, it’s looking like a growing trend.

As of recent, certain companies have begun to offer their employees unlimited paid vacation days. What exactly does this mean? For an employee, it means a paid-for getaway—for the employer, a bill.

“67 percent of employees report that their bosses don’t encourage taking vacations or give mixed messages about taking time off,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association to Fox News.

FullContact, a Denver-based software solutions company, offers a “paid paid” benefit, where once a year, staffers are entitled to a flat $7,500 installment to be used toward a vacation of their choice. While away, staffers are not allowed to check their work email or call the office—no really, it’s a company requisite.

According to Dow, other companies like Netflix, Evernote, Motley Fool, and the Gilt Groupe are now also hopping onboard, along with many others.

Take, for example, Richard Branson, founder and CEO of Virgin Group, who recently made public of his businesses’ experimentation with unlimited vacation time. Expedia, on the other hand, has completely eliminated its vacation policy.

“We’re seeing this as the beginning of a trend that is starting on the West Coast at tech companies,” Dow explained.

As reported in 2013, the Center for Economy and Policy Research discovered that “The United States is the only advanced economy that does not guarantee its workers any paid vacation time,” leading to a one in four ratio of Americans who receive no paid vacation and no paid holidays. Many employees also leave days untaken, altogether creating an overworked and tired culture. Dowe blames this scared-to-vacation ideology among staffers on the company.

“While 90 percent of both bosses and employees said that travel was important to recharging batteries, to health and to relationships, 67 percent of employees report that their bosses don’t encourage taking vacations or give mixed messages about taking time off,” he said.

These newly itnroduced benefits seem to be mainly focused on millennials, who, as a generation, are beginning to occupy more and more of the workforce. “Millennials tend to spend their money on experiences rather than material goods,” Dow told Fox. “They’d rather have a less expensive car and more money to travel. We hear that all the time in our research.”

He added, “The millennials will be big leaders in this trend of unlimited vacation days. Organizations that want to attract and keep young talent will increasingly adopt this as a benefit.”