Leave leave alone

Asking employees to guess how much holiday their employers will tolerate is not a good idea

Some companies are offering their employees an unlimited number of holidays. But that's not necessarily a good news. Cole Burston / Bloomberg News
Powered by automated translation

Imagine you receive a letter from your employer. “Congratulations: we are rewriting your contract! And, guess what, you now have unlimited time off! Feel free to take as many holiday days as you like. Seriously. Go to the Maldives, go to Korea, go to Peru! We want you to love what you do and do what you love!”

Great news – or so it seems. You realise you are no longer entitled to your annual set of paid days off, nor are you paid for the days of leave you don’t claim. You realise that you already work 14 hours a day, because your organisation has a long-hours culture and expects you to appear diligent by chaining yourself to your desk. You realise that now, instead of claiming your days of holiday, you will have to gauge your manager’s expectations, and compete against colleagues by taking fewer holidays.

Informal norms now replace previously clear guidelines, as The National reported yesterday. Are you passionate enough? Do you love what you do? What does your manager expect? Will this be mentioned at your annual performance review? Congratulations, we are rewriting your contract!