Author Topic: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)  (Read 6778 times)

Cali

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Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« on: May 01, 2018, 09:46:52 PM »
My boss told me today I’ll be receiving an email this week about our new “unlimited vacation time” corporate policy.

Anyone have experience with this?
« Last Edit: May 01, 2018, 09:48:57 PM by Cali »

bacchi

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2018, 11:33:15 PM »
Hahahahaha. *wipes tears*


Really, though, it all depends on who sets the tone. If the boss(es) take advantage of it, you follow their lead. If they're working hard to get promoted or make their shares worth something, it's a fool's bargain and you're worse off.

dragoncar

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2018, 12:08:41 AM »
I don't have any personal experience with this, but wouldn't it generally be safe to take at least the same amount of time off you had before the transition?

GetItRight

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2018, 07:27:33 AM »
It's a trap!

Sibley

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2018, 07:54:05 AM »
google unlimited vacation time. you'll get the picture pretty quickly. Generally doesn't work out very well for employees.

MayDay

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2018, 08:05:40 AM »
I will be the lone dissenter and say it worked well at my last job.

It is dependent on a critical mass actually using time.

We used it liberally. I was more likely to check in via email and take the occasional emeting while on vacation but hey, I took a lot of vacation so I didn't mind.

eav

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2018, 08:48:02 AM »
I work at a company with unlimited vacation time and I've taken about 10-12 days per year, so the stereotype rings true here. I'd rather have a set amount of time that I felt like I had to "use". I will say a coworker just got married and took two weeks off for the whole ordeal so I'm sure in that scenario the flexibility is nice to have.

Case

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2018, 08:53:24 AM »
My boss told me today I’ll be receiving an email this week about our new “unlimited vacation time” corporate policy.

Anyone have experience with this?

I generally have found that when you get to a certain level of profession, the agreed upon 'vacation time' doesn't matter, and what matters is whether you are delivering or making the boss happy.  It is sort of a blue collar vs white collar thing.
The other factor is whether your coworkers are gossipy and pay attention to how much you are present. 

In my job, I feel pressured not to use my vacation because I have a lot of shit to get done.  It becomes necessary to force myself to take the time off, otherwise I'll never go on vacation.

For other people that have jobs that are more like punching the time card and putting in their required hours, I don't think you'd ever be given unlimited vacation.  I assume you're not in this situation, and I assume that regardless of the vacation policy, you are expected to meet certain deadlines/etc... (to perform), and this ultimately determines whether you keep your job/etc...

The vacation policy doesn't matter (unless it is super restrictive); what does matter is your workplace culture.

LifeHappens

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2018, 08:59:11 AM »
You might to Google "Results Only Work Environment." It's a nice idea. Don't know that it has ever worked out in the real world.

Do you have FU money? If so, I would be sorely tempted to use it.

BuildingmyFIRE

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2018, 10:04:38 AM »
Employers move to unlimited vacation time so that they don't have to keep track of it or pay out accrued but unused vacation time when an employee leaves.

snappytom

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2018, 11:07:27 AM »
Employers move to unlimited vacation time so that they don't have to keep track of it or pay out accrued but unused vacation time when an employee leaves.

This ...... accrued vacation time is a liability on the books.  When my Mega-Corp employer adopted this policy several years ago they were able to eliminate about $30M of debt in a single quarter.

Syonyk

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2018, 11:10:11 AM »
Employers move to unlimited vacation time so that they don't have to keep track of it or pay out accrued but unused vacation time when an employee leaves.

Yup!  I've made good use of those vacation payouts... once I know I'm transitioning jobs, I'll run up my vacation balance and get a nice hunk of cash to help float me between states.

And people don't use as much as they otherwise would.

It's a great deal - for the employer.  Not for the employee.

Undecided

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2018, 11:29:44 AM »
My boss told me today I’ll be receiving an email this week about our new “unlimited vacation time” corporate policy.

Anyone have experience with this?

I generally have found that when you get to a certain level of profession, the agreed upon 'vacation time' doesn't matter, and what matters is whether you are delivering or making the boss happy.  It is sort of a blue collar vs white collar thing.
The other factor is whether your coworkers are gossipy and pay attention to how much you are present. 

In my job, I feel pressured not to use my vacation because I have a lot of shit to get done.  It becomes necessary to force myself to take the time off, otherwise I'll never go on vacation.

For other people that have jobs that are more like punching the time card and putting in their required hours, I don't think you'd ever be given unlimited vacation.  I assume you're not in this situation, and I assume that regardless of the vacation policy, you are expected to meet certain deadlines/etc... (to perform), and this ultimately determines whether you keep your job/etc...

The vacation policy doesn't matter (unless it is super restrictive); what does matter is your workplace culture.

The policy matters because if you're in a job where you don't take much "real" vacation (e.g., where two weeks out of the office means you work at least three hours/day on seven of those days), the more vacation time you accrue, the more you have accrued and paid out when you leave.

AZDude

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2018, 11:42:23 AM »
Just remember to not be afraid of *telling* your boss you are taking vacation. Just time it out right so that a major project is ending and you flee the office before the next gets started. Also, remember this does not have to mean a big, extravagant 3 week vacation. It could be it is 12:30PM and the day is really slow with not much going on so you skip out and go hit the hiking trail(or whatever).

I've never had unlimited vacation, but I worked at a place where we got 6 weeks annual leave. Most people never came close to that, but I would basically take a half day whenever I felt like it plus the typical 2 week summer vacation and the occasional sick day/mental health day.

Don't follow the herd. Work hard when you are there, make yourself valuable. Then tell your boss to piss off if (s)he tries to infringe on your hard earned vacation. It won't win you any brownie points, but you will be a much happier person. Firing and hiring a new person is expensive. Know your worth to the company. Don't take their abuse.

dcheesi

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2018, 01:20:32 PM »
My company transitioned to this several years ago, although they use the more accurate phrase "discretionary time off". Fortunately I was around when the transition occurred and got paid out for time accrued up to that point.

The good & bad of this is that really is up to the discretion of your boss. Mine have always been pretty open to approving time off, and I've never had a problem; YMMV though.

The key thing is that it's up to you to track your vacation usage and make sure that you're using enough. My rule of thumb is to try to use the same amount that I accrued under the old system. But I have no idea how a new-hire is expected to judge this, other than looking at industry averages or just guessing?

AZDude

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2018, 01:23:43 PM »
Not to be disrespectful, but I think it is unimaginative to just try to use the same amount as before. You should instead be looking at how to take the most time off without affecting how much work you are getting done.

Schaefer Light

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2018, 01:26:35 PM »
Let's say you don't have much to do in your job and your company adopts this policy.  Then how much time do you take off?  If you could literally do your job in one day a week, would you take off 4 days every week?

AZDude

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2018, 01:44:47 PM »
Let's say you don't have much to do in your job and your company adopts this policy.  Then how much time do you take off?  If you could literally do your job in one day a week, would you take off 4 days every week?

Only if you want your job eliminated. I think 1/week is probably sufficient. I would also learn the art of taking time off without actually logging time off(disappear for 3-4 hours in the middle of the day to do whatever, claim you were in a meeting/at lunch/etc... if caught).

Schaefer Light

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2018, 01:48:08 PM »
Let's say you don't have much to do in your job and your company adopts this policy.  Then how much time do you take off?  If you could literally do your job in one day a week, would you take off 4 days every week?

Only if you want your job eliminated. I think 1/week is probably sufficient. I would also learn the art of taking time off without actually logging time off(disappear for 3-4 hours in the middle of the day to do whatever, claim you were in a meeting/at lunch/etc... if caught).

Yeah, I agree.  I think I'd prefer working from home to unlimited vacation time.

Gone Fishing

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2018, 01:57:45 PM »
I'd love to hear from someone who milked the daylights out of such a policy.  Even better if they did it right before quitting or retiring. 

Personally, I'd aim for 6 weeks. That always sounded like a good number to me.

bacchi

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #20 on: May 02, 2018, 02:36:36 PM »
Just remember to not be afraid of *telling* your boss you are taking vacation.

Yes, a thousand times yes.

"Boss, I'm taking Friday off next week" is much better than "Boss, is it ok to take off Friday next week?"

simonsez

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #21 on: May 02, 2018, 03:45:04 PM »
Employers move to unlimited vacation time so that they don't have to keep track of it or pay out accrued but unused vacation time when an employee leaves.

This ...... accrued vacation time is a liability on the books.  When my Mega-Corp employer adopted this policy several years ago they were able to eliminate about $30M of debt in a single quarter.
Some places pay out vacation leave at separation AND give you time in service for other unused types of leave.  Guy I knew retired with just under 2 years worth of sick leave to be able to add to his pension.  Those 2 years equate to 4% more of his highest three years of salary added to his pension, or just over $6000 more per year.  Plus he got paid out for his vacation which came out to about 30k (~400 hours times his imputed hourly rate of ~$75/hr) before taxes.  I imagine he wouldn't have been on board with all of that going away so he could have "unlimited" leave when he already received in total 39 eight hour days' worth of leave every year (26 vacation + 13 sick).

It won't affect those that are retiring early or have different policies as much if a policy is enacted a person's place of employent but it's still there and can be significant in many cases.

In the white collar world, it's incredibly cost-reducing without much of a penalty (few abusers) and the allure of how it sounds to employees seems too good to be true.

dragoncar

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #22 on: May 03, 2018, 03:17:07 AM »


Don't follow the herd. Work hard when you are there, make yourself valuable. Then tell your boss to piss off if (s)he tries to infringe on your hard earned vacation. It won't win you any brownie points, but you will be a much happier person. Firing and hiring a new person is expensive. Know your worth to the company. Don't take their abuse.

This isn't great advice for someone who wants to climb the corporate ladder and work until 70.  But wait, what site are we on?  Who cares about brownie points when you have FU money?

Schaefer Light

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #23 on: May 03, 2018, 06:13:54 AM »
I'd love to hear from someone who milked the daylights out of such a policy.  Even better if they did it right before quitting or retiring. 

Personally, I'd aim for 6 weeks. That always sounded like a good number to me.

If I was already FI and just working a couple of extra years for "fun money", I'd take off every fucking day until they fired me ;).

L2

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #24 on: May 03, 2018, 06:47:45 AM »
My old firm was one of the first (and still might be the only one) out of the large firms in our industry to implement this. They called it "flexible time off".

At first it was great. A nice "bonus" when they pay out your accrued PTO. No real BS approval policies, just get approval from my immediate boss. I think I took ~25 days off the first year when I normally would have been allowed 21. Then we didn't hit budget for year end (not because work didn't get done, IMO, just an unrealistic budget) and all the partners freaked out and implemented a firm wide policy where we need to track our days off, show how we are going to make up hours for taking days off, and then send it through multiple steps of approval for anything over 2 days. Also, I'm not sure if it was my office's culture of what, but people would make comments about coworkers taking "so much time off", so it definitely started drama. I had a close relationship with my boss and I remember a coworker taking 2.5 weeks off for his wedding and he made a comment that "he'll remember that" when it comes to performance reviews.

I did just hear than an old coworker was scheduled to be on flexible time off (FTO) the last week of his two weeks notice and they ended up telling him his last day would be prior to that so he wouldn't be paid for it. So attempting to milk the system that way didn't end up working.

Going through the experience, I think I'd rather just have regular old PTO. Turned into too much to deal with and I didn't get paid out any accrued PTO when I left, which means it really wasn't ideal for me to take a break between jobs. My last day there was a Friday and I started my new job the following Monday.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2018, 06:49:32 AM by L2 »

Cali

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #25 on: May 03, 2018, 08:39:22 AM »
Current corporate policy is good. At three years you get  four weeks a year plus one floating holiday you must take each quarter. I know there are people who have 200+ hours stored up. I’m not one of them.

I am a metrics person so I don’t mind being expected to meet certain numbers. There is occasional corporate junk that goes with that but it’s mostly reasonable.

I’ll be curious how this works out. I remain hopeful.

des999

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #26 on: May 03, 2018, 08:48:27 AM »
I know of a few friends that have companies that went to this.  They are too afraid to actually take a good amount, and ended up taking less per year.

I think at my mega corp, it would be tough as you accrue more time the longer you work, some folks have like 8 weeks.  But, I do agree with others that is saves the company money not having to pay out those days when people leave.  We used to be able to carry over as much time as we wanted, then it went to 2 weeks, and now it's down to 1 carry over week per year.  I guess that was their way to avoid that pay out expense.  I'm ok with that, b/c I use every bit of my 6.5 weeks every single year.

Also, I think having FU money would make it much easier to take advantage of this type of set up.  I also think if you are valuable and well respected at your company this set up would be more advantageous.

Noodle

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #27 on: May 03, 2018, 08:57:12 AM »
I'm curious--how does maternity/paternity leave work with this? At my workplace (which is the old-fashioned, X-per-year, no accumulating over a certain max), you use your vacation time first, then  I believe there is short-term disability and some people end up taking unpaid time as well. Does leave come from a different pot under this system?  I have a family member who works for a company with this policy, but he joined them long after his daughters had come along.

dot

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #28 on: May 03, 2018, 09:00:46 AM »
We've had this at my company for a couple years now, but only for salary. When we transitioned, you didn't get a payout for your PTO hours, they just disappeared with the implication that you could still take that time off (it never even occurred to me that paying out was a thing that might be done. Oh well, I never accrued much before using it anyway). They kinda played as a good thing for employees, but didn't pretend that it wasn't all about the financial aspect of not having PTO on the books. Now they make a big deal about it in job postings.

Actually taking the time off depends heavily on your manager. Mine is great, and I had no trouble taking a month off last year to go to South America. I didn't have to spend 2 years hoarding my PTO beforehand, which made my life easier. Other employees get crap from their managers for taking long weekends, but I assume it was like that with accrued PTO. Overall, I like it, but if my manager was a jerk about it, I'd probably want the hard numbers of a defined accrual. I take about 25-30 days a year, and I feel like I could take more if I really wanted. 

As for maternity leave, here you take 2 paid weeks "PTO" before STD kicks in, then unpaid leave after that.

dcheesi

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #29 on: May 03, 2018, 09:09:06 AM »
Not to be disrespectful, but I think it is unimaginative to just try to use the same amount as before. You should instead be looking at how to take the most time off without affecting how much work you are getting done.
The thing about that is that you don't want to be "that guy" who ruins it for everyone. We used to have "that guy" in my old office, and many a restrictive travel policy was implemented specifically to address his boundary-pushing (or just plain ignoring) antics. If we had "that guy" in my current situation, I'm sure there would a lot more DTO-limiting rules in place by now.

And yes, this is one of the things that they "get you" with. No one wants to overstep, and so everyone self-limits to less than what would probably be allowed under an accrued benefit system. I'm sure this even worse for folks who are hired into this situation, without a previous accrual rate to use as a starting point/guideline.

dcheesi

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #30 on: May 03, 2018, 09:12:33 AM »
I'm curious--how does maternity/paternity leave work with this? At my workplace (which is the old-fashioned, X-per-year, no accumulating over a certain max), you use your vacation time first, then  I believe there is short-term disability and some people end up taking unpaid time as well. Does leave come from a different pot under this system?  I have a family member who works for a company with this policy, but he joined them long after his daughters had come along.
My company still has a separate pool of Sick Leave which accrues with limited max & carry-over. I think it transitions into Disability after a certain point. Not sure about *aternity leave specifically though.

simonsez

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #31 on: May 03, 2018, 11:42:44 AM »
Not to be disrespectful, but I think it is unimaginative to just try to use the same amount as before. You should instead be looking at how to take the most time off without affecting how much work you are getting done.
The thing about that is that you don't want to be "that guy" who ruins it for everyone. We used to have "that guy" in my old office, and many a restrictive travel policy was implemented specifically to address his boundary-pushing (or just plain ignoring) antics. If we had "that guy" in my current situation, I'm sure there would a lot more DTO-limiting rules in place by now.

And yes, this is one of the things that they "get you" with. No one wants to overstep, and so everyone self-limits to less than what would probably be allowed under an accrued benefit system. I'm sure this even worse for folks who are hired into this situation, without a previous accrual rate to use as a starting point/guideline.
The other side of the coin is that effective management is still required.  Just because HR no longer has to calculate something retirement-related as it pertains to leave does NOT mean that employees can now take all the time off they want with no consequences.  If someone is "abusing" the system, the issue in the unlimited leave system is not the leave but should be about the person and the objective standards they are failing to meet.  The policy is not failing, the person is.  If they are meeting those standards, this is what co-workers and management will have to swallow.  If the standards are not up to par, update them to account for the policy change or whatever works best for the area.

If someone wants to abuse the leave system and ruin it for others, they should be counseled, put on a performance improvement plan, or fired if it comes to it.  But this takes an active role of the staff rather than just shrugging and saying "Well we have unlimited leave, whatcanyado?"

Sometimes the abuse can be perceived differently as well.  Work can still be completed but leave can put others in a bind due to levels of staffing required at any time in the office.  Some sort of planned leave calendar can help to alleviate some of this.

Case

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #32 on: May 05, 2018, 08:57:49 AM »
My boss told me today I’ll be receiving an email this week about our new “unlimited vacation time” corporate policy.

Anyone have experience with this?

I generally have found that when you get to a certain level of profession, the agreed upon 'vacation time' doesn't matter, and what matters is whether you are delivering or making the boss happy.  It is sort of a blue collar vs white collar thing.
The other factor is whether your coworkers are gossipy and pay attention to how much you are present. 

In my job, I feel pressured not to use my vacation because I have a lot of shit to get done.  It becomes necessary to force myself to take the time off, otherwise I'll never go on vacation.

For other people that have jobs that are more like punching the time card and putting in their required hours, I don't think you'd ever be given unlimited vacation.  I assume you're not in this situation, and I assume that regardless of the vacation policy, you are expected to meet certain deadlines/etc... (to perform), and this ultimately determines whether you keep your job/etc...

The vacation policy doesn't matter (unless it is super restrictive); what does matter is your workplace culture.

The policy matters because if you're in a job where you don't take much "real" vacation (e.g., where two weeks out of the office means you work at least three hours/day on seven of those days), the more vacation time you accrue, the more you have accrued and paid out when you leave.

Where are these mythical companies that pay you money for unused vacations?

More seriously, i know they exist, but my large corporate employer sure does not.  Count yourself lucky if you do.

A lot fo these crazy benefits are common in the govt or the tech industry, but many do not.

Undecided

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #33 on: May 05, 2018, 02:57:58 PM »
My boss told me today I’ll be receiving an email this week about our new “unlimited vacation time” corporate policy.

Anyone have experience with this?

I generally have found that when you get to a certain level of profession, the agreed upon 'vacation time' doesn't matter, and what matters is whether you are delivering or making the boss happy.  It is sort of a blue collar vs white collar thing.
The other factor is whether your coworkers are gossipy and pay attention to how much you are present. 

In my job, I feel pressured not to use my vacation because I have a lot of shit to get done.  It becomes necessary to force myself to take the time off, otherwise I'll never go on vacation.

For other people that have jobs that are more like punching the time card and putting in their required hours, I don't think you'd ever be given unlimited vacation.  I assume you're not in this situation, and I assume that regardless of the vacation policy, you are expected to meet certain deadlines/etc... (to perform), and this ultimately determines whether you keep your job/etc...

The vacation policy doesn't matter (unless it is super restrictive); what does matter is your workplace culture.

The policy matters because if you're in a job where you don't take much "real" vacation (e.g., where two weeks out of the office means you work at least three hours/day on seven of those days), the more vacation time you accrue, the more you have accrued and paid out when you leave.

Where are these mythical companies that pay you money for unused vacations?

More seriously, i know they exist, but my large corporate employer sure does not.  Count yourself lucky if you do.

A lot fo these crazy benefits are common in the govt or the tech industry, but many do not.

Thanks, California! My employer has a lot of people in CA and gives the same treatment in all locations. 

https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/FAQ_Vacation.htm

"Under California law, earned vacation time is considered wages, and vacation time is earned, or vests, as labor is performed. For example, if an employee is entitled to two weeks (10 work days) of vacation per year, after six months of work he or she will have earned five days of vacation. Vacation pay accrues (adds up) as it is earned, and cannot be forfeited, even upon termination of employment, regardless of the reason for the termination."

L2

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #34 on: May 05, 2018, 08:00:13 PM »
I'm in public accounting and I've never heard of accrued vacation not being paid out.

Syonyk

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #35 on: May 05, 2018, 10:04:08 PM »
Where are these mythical companies that pay you money for unused vacations?

Pretty much any decent employer? o.O

asauer

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #36 on: May 06, 2018, 05:59:51 AM »
As an HR person I really hate these non-policies.  It put way too much power in the hands of bad managers.  The main reason for these policies is not for employees but to get PTO liability off their books.  So that when you leave the organization, they don’t have to pay you out for in used vacation. Completely ridiculous.  That said, for mustachians this can may not be an issue since most of aren’t cowering in a corner at work anyway and probably have the security to stand up if we feel taken advantage of.

asauer

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #37 on: May 06, 2018, 06:06:30 AM »
Where are these mythical companies that pay you money for unused vacations?

Pretty much any decent employer? o.O

All8 companies i’ve Worked for have paid out for in used leave that you accrued during that year.

Case

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #38 on: May 06, 2018, 06:17:52 AM »
Where are these mythical companies that pay you money for unused vacations?

Pretty much any decent employer? o.O

All8 companies i’ve Worked for have paid out for in used leave that you accrued during that year.

Guess I’m missing out!  My employer, a very large American corporation, certainly does not.

firelight

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #39 on: May 07, 2018, 05:31:23 AM »
I work for a large company that does unlimited vacation policy. I love it!! My previous company had the vacation accrual policy and I was always scraping the bottom every year. I used to get 3 weeks off (I think it was 4 weeks off the year I left). But the problem is I have family in India and need 3 weeks minimum (a week to get out of jetlag, 2 real weeks of family time) for a trip. And I like to go every year if possible(parents growing old, siblings getting married, etc). Add in travel time and I exhausted the time off every year and still had to do creative leaves (leave on Wednesday, work till I boarded the plane, take just two days off to get more calendar days off, etc) and still had to pay through the nose since I was combining it with long weekends (creative leave). For my wedding, I didn't have enough time and went on negative leave and came back earlier than planned (leave was approved and then rescinded due to some accounting error). Frankly I felt like a school kid who had to get his teacher's permission for taking leave than a competent adult that took off when needed.

Fast forward to now, I take roughly 4 weeks a year (been more like 5-6 weeks lately due to sick kids). It splits up as 2 weeks during Christmas, a week off during summer, a week off during fall. And a few days here and there for mental health days. And some days off for tending to sick kids. I'm thankful for the flexibility it affords and am responsible for my work. I do miss out on some projects that need people at office all the time but I don't need them since I'll be FIRE by the time the career boosts come.

I'd rather have this flexibility than some more cash at this point in my life.

Schaefer Light

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #40 on: May 07, 2018, 06:00:42 AM »
As an HR person I really hate these non-policies.  It put way too much power in the hands of bad managers.

As a manager, I'd rather not have an unlimited PTO policy.  I think it would be a major headache to have to deal with.

nobody123

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #41 on: May 07, 2018, 07:32:59 AM »
As an HR person I really hate these non-policies.  It put way too much power in the hands of bad managers.

As a manager, I'd rather not have an unlimited PTO policy.  I think it would be a major headache to have to deal with.

Me too.  We already have a horrible 1950's era vacation policy (0 to start, 2 weeks after first year, don't get 4 weeks until 20 years of service), and it's use it or lose it policy (so no in-service carryover or payouts.  We do get a payout of accrued vacation at separation.).  In theory, if we went to an unlimited policy, we'd have to increase our staff by at least 25% to accommodate for the fact that people would actually be out of the building.  And of course, that will never happen, so I'd be in the position of telling lots of people they can't take the "unlimited" vacation a lot of the time.  That, and the millenials would all take at least 8 weeks of vacation and I'd have to listen to the old-timers complain about their lack of work ethic and how they wish they had 8 weeks off when they were in their 20s and starting a family...  I'd much rather they just say that everyone gets 25 days and then I could manage to it.

firelight

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #42 on: May 07, 2018, 08:13:57 AM »
What is wrong in taking 8 weeks off, whether it's a millennial or old timer? If management is fine with it, why should anyone else care?

I'm a millennial and keep running into this argument that taking more vacation is wrong. As long as I do my work and my company is happy, why does anyone care if I work only ten months over a year?
« Last Edit: May 07, 2018, 08:16:15 AM by firelight »

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #43 on: May 07, 2018, 08:40:17 AM »
What is wrong in taking 8 weeks off, whether it's a millennial or old timer? If management is fine with it, why should anyone else care?

I'm a millennial and keep running into this argument that taking more vacation is wrong. As long as I do my work and my company is happy, why does anyone care if I work only ten months over a year?

Taking 8 weeks of vacation isn't wrong, but some teams simply don't have enough people for the manager to allow everyone to take that much time off.  And if everyone can't take that much time off, then no one can take that much time off.  If my company had an unlimited vacation policy, you can bet your bottom dollar that my group members would be keeping tabs on each other and there would be non-stop complaining if I let one person take more time off than the others.  In essence, I'd have to create and administer my own vacation policy within my group if my company went this route.  No thanks.

firelight

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #44 on: May 07, 2018, 11:07:28 AM »
What is wrong in taking 8 weeks off, whether it's a millennial or old timer? If management is fine with it, why should anyone else care?

I'm a millennial and keep running into this argument that taking more vacation is wrong. As long as I do my work and my company is happy, why does anyone care if I work only ten months over a year?

Taking 8 weeks of vacation isn't wrong, but some teams simply don't have enough people for the manager to allow everyone to take that much time off.  And if everyone can't take that much time off, then no one can take that much time off.  If my company had an unlimited vacation policy, you can bet your bottom dollar that my group members would be keeping tabs on each other and there would be non-stop complaining if I let one person take more time off than the others.  In essence, I'd have to create and administer my own vacation policy within my group if my company went this route.  No thanks.
In your case, I agree that it creates problem for you. But it isn't due to unlimited vacation, its due to not enough resources. Would your team members be ok earning a bit less and funding for the extra resource so they can take ample vacation?

And if your company offers unlimited vacation policy, these are some questions they need to work through. Just because some questions need to be answered doesn't make the policy itself not good, kwim?

Slee_stack

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #45 on: May 07, 2018, 02:35:38 PM »
What is wrong in taking 8 weeks off, whether it's a millennial or old timer? If management is fine with it, why should anyone else care?

I'm a millennial and keep running into this argument that taking more vacation is wrong. As long as I do my work and my company is happy, why does anyone care if I work only ten months over a year?

Taking 8 weeks of vacation isn't wrong, but some teams simply don't have enough people for the manager to allow everyone to take that much time off.  And if everyone can't take that much time off, then no one can take that much time off.  If my company had an unlimited vacation policy, you can bet your bottom dollar that my group members would be keeping tabs on each other and there would be non-stop complaining if I let one person take more time off than the others.  In essence, I'd have to create and administer my own vacation policy within my group if my company went this route.  No thanks.
In your case, I agree that it creates problem for you. But it isn't due to unlimited vacation, its due to not enough resources. Would your team members be ok earning a bit less and funding for the extra resource so they can take ample vacation?

And if your company offers unlimited vacation policy, these are some questions they need to work through. Just because some questions need to be answered doesn't make the policy itself not good, kwim?
Its nowhere near as simple as you are suggesting.  People are petty.  Everyone take a paycut?! Ha! You're funny.  I get the sentiment.... I'd ecstatically take a paycut to work fewer hours....but your typical worker is a dyed-in-the-wool spendy pants.  They want more and more money to make ends meet....not more time off.  We had a celebration last week...free food and drinks.  Still I heard the grumbling...'Why don't they just give us extra money instead of this!?!'

As soon as ONE person gets something, the endless complaining begins.  With a non structured PTO policy, EVERYONE will EXPECT the MAX days that someone else got.  If there is any gap, resentment shows up in full force.

Perhaps you haven't managed other people yet.  Your glasses may still be rose colored.  Trust me...those lenses turn brown really quick.

dragoncar

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #46 on: May 07, 2018, 05:26:41 PM »
I was going to say hey could just limit vacation to something like 8 or 12 weeks... but maybe that doesn’t get them out of the accrued vacation payout laws.  What is it about “unlimited” that makes it different from some other specific number?  I’d be interested to see this challenged in court, because someone fired for taking too much vacation means that it’s not really unlimited

nobody123

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #47 on: May 08, 2018, 06:48:56 AM »
Its nowhere near as simple as you are suggesting.  People are petty.  Everyone take a paycut?! Ha! You're funny.  I get the sentiment.... I'd ecstatically take a paycut to work fewer hours....but your typical worker is a dyed-in-the-wool spendy pants.  They want more and more money to make ends meet....not more time off.  We had a celebration last week...free food and drinks.  Still I heard the grumbling...'Why don't they just give us extra money instead of this!?!'

As soon as ONE person gets something, the endless complaining begins.  With a non structured PTO policy, EVERYONE will EXPECT the MAX days that someone else got.  If there is any gap, resentment shows up in full force.

Perhaps you haven't managed other people yet.  Your glasses may still be rose colored.  Trust me...those lenses turn brown really quick.

This.  So much this.

The other issue is that since we've based the amount of vacation on years of service (loyalty), magically giving EVERYONE some equal, massive amount of vacation is essentially taking something away that we've been telling our employees is a reward.  Logically, the senior employees aren't losing anything, but it would be perceived as such.

Schaefer Light

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #48 on: May 08, 2018, 06:54:20 AM »
Its nowhere near as simple as you are suggesting.  People are petty.  Everyone take a paycut?! Ha! You're funny.  I get the sentiment.... I'd ecstatically take a paycut to work fewer hours....but your typical worker is a dyed-in-the-wool spendy pants.  They want more and more money to make ends meet....not more time off.  We had a celebration last week...free food and drinks.  Still I heard the grumbling...'Why don't they just give us extra money instead of this!?!'

As soon as ONE person gets something, the endless complaining begins.  With a non structured PTO policy, EVERYONE will EXPECT the MAX days that someone else got.  If there is any gap, resentment shows up in full force.

Perhaps you haven't managed other people yet.  Your glasses may still be rose colored.  Trust me...those lenses turn brown really quick.

This.  So much this.

The other issue is that since we've based the amount of vacation on years of service (loyalty), magically giving EVERYONE some equal, massive amount of vacation is essentially taking something away that we've been telling our employees is a reward.  Logically, the senior employees aren't losing anything, but it would be perceived as such.

Exactly.  It makes me wonder if companies that are switching to "unlimited" PTO policies spoke to their front line managers to get their input before making the switch.  I can't imagine that too many managers would be in favor of such a policy.

nobody123

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Re: Unlimited Vacation Time (the Corporate kind)
« Reply #49 on: May 09, 2018, 07:23:01 AM »
Its nowhere near as simple as you are suggesting.  People are petty.  Everyone take a paycut?! Ha! You're funny.  I get the sentiment.... I'd ecstatically take a paycut to work fewer hours....but your typical worker is a dyed-in-the-wool spendy pants.  They want more and more money to make ends meet....not more time off.  We had a celebration last week...free food and drinks.  Still I heard the grumbling...'Why don't they just give us extra money instead of this!?!'

As soon as ONE person gets something, the endless complaining begins.  With a non structured PTO policy, EVERYONE will EXPECT the MAX days that someone else got.  If there is any gap, resentment shows up in full force.

Perhaps you haven't managed other people yet.  Your glasses may still be rose colored.  Trust me...those lenses turn brown really quick.

This.  So much this.

The other issue is that since we've based the amount of vacation on years of service (loyalty), magically giving EVERYONE some equal, massive amount of vacation is essentially taking something away that we've been telling our employees is a reward.  Logically, the senior employees aren't losing anything, but it would be perceived as such.

Exactly.  It makes me wonder if companies that are switching to "unlimited" PTO policies spoke to their front line managers to get their input before making the switch.  I can't imagine that too many managers would be in favor of such a policy.

Of course they didn't.  As a previous poster said, it's an accounting decision where you get to wipe the vacation accrual off the books.  "Unlimited" just means all that your manager is willing to approve, not that you can take as much as you want.  Unless that is very clearly communicated and understood by the rank and file, it's going to be a nightmare for the front-line managers.