Xerox changes holiday purchase scheme

EXCLUSIVE: Xerox has doubled the number of days staff can buy each year through its holiday purchase scheme, made it available to all employees and extended the time period during which staff can take up the benefit.

Employees can now buy up to 20 days a year through the scheme, which has been part of the organisation’s flexible benefits package since 2009. Previously, they could purchase a maximum of 10 days a year.

The scheme has also been extended to around 300 fixed-term contract and part-time staff, rather than limited to the organisation’s 3,500 full-time employees as was previously the case.

Employees can now take adavantage of greater flexibility and take up the scheme during a period each month, up utnil October each year, rather than only during the annual flexible benefits enrolment window in January.

Andy Evans, compensation and benefits manager at Xerox, said: “It’s more flexible. If people can’t take the holidays and there are [specific] circumstances, they can apply to have that refunded.”

So far in 2013, the average enumber of days purchased by staff stands at seven, up from five days in 2009. Evans added: “The actual value of the savings we’re making, which is one of the reasons we offer it, is about £50,000 or so each month as we go through the year.”

When the scheme was introduced in 2009, it was aimed at encouraging staff to support the company in tough times by buying extra holiday.

“Employees think they are giving something back to the company,” said Evans. “When we launched it in 2009, there were some business issues and this was a way of employees helping out with the business to make savings, as opposed to some [organisations] that were mandating that people take holiday.”

The benefit is communicated to employees using payslip inserts, posters and internal portals, such as Xerox’s online total reward portal.

Evans added: “We will make sure that mid-year and holiday time we will re-launch communications again to emphasise that it’s still available, so if people have used their holiday they can get more.

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“We try to get the message across in various ways, and encourage the team management to do the same as well.”

Since the scheme was launched five years ago, 6,000 employees have bought more than 35,000 additional days holiday.