London stockbroker firm Finncap has launched an unlimited holiday allowance from 2022 to try to prevent staff burnout.
From 1 January, its 149 employees will be able to take minimum leave consisting of four weeks’ leave plus two or three days every quarter, which does not include time off to care for sick parents, children or pets, for parents’ evenings or to deal with household problems. The organisation set out minimum amounts of leave that must be taken in order to avoid the fear of having a blanket policy of unlimited leave backfiring.
According to the firm, which also gives financial advice, it decided to change its working practices as mental health pressures were starting to affect employees’ physical health around June, as they were taking more time off. Staff were getting frustrated on Zoom calls and some did not want to communicate.
Chief executive Sam Smith commented that the workers were “fed up and had no resilience left” after being in the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic for a long time, having worked very long hours from home, especially during lockdowns. This resulted in the lines between work and life becoming blurred, with no boundaries or respite, putting more pressure on people to just keep working just because everyone else was.
Smith explained that creating a positive workplace culture at Finncap has always been its number one priority, and a key part of this is supporting the mental health of its employees.
“With the new holiday policy we have tried to think outside the box for helping colleagues deal with the pressures of the post-Covid working environment and tackle the issue of burnout by enforcing two or three days every quarter for people to step outside of what they are doing and take a break,” she said.