Goldman Sachs to allow unlimited annual leave for senior staff

Junior employees at New York investment bank will be given at least two extra days off each year as companies battle for talent

Goldman Sachs has adjusted its annual leave policies for staff. Reuters
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Goldman Sachs will allow senior staff to take an unlimited number of annual leave days, the latest move by a Wall Street bank to retain talent in a heated job market.

Partners and managing directors at the New York investment bank can take time off when needed “without a fixed vacation day entitlement”, according to a company memo seen by Bloomberg. Junior employees still have limits on holiday, but will be given at least two extra days off each year under the new policy that was introduced at the start of the month.

All Goldman employees will be required to take three weeks off each year starting in 2023, the memo said. That includes at least one week of consecutive time off.

The new holiday policy comes more than a year after junior analysts at the bank complained of 100-hour work weeks and declining physical and mental health in “inhumane” conditions. That reverberated across Wall Street, with firms pledging to do more to improve the work-life balance of their staff.

The unlimited leave policy may have limited impact in practice. A 2017 study by HR platform Namely found that employees at firms with open-ended holiday allowances typically ended up taking fewer days off a year than under traditional systems.

It is an eye-catching move at a time when competition to retain employees and attract new talent has intensified. Companies from Wall Street to Silicon Valley are grappling with the renewed focus on work-life balance, while seeking to roll back workplace policies implemented during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Goldman last month ended free breakfast and lunches at the office — a perk to lure staff back to work. The bank has been one of the most aggressive among financial firms to push for a return to office.

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Updated: May 16, 2022, 9:37 AM
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