Vacation is the brief pause in your life when you can feel the sunshine on your face and breeze through your hair, taking you to a place of escape. It’s valuable time to reset and regain focus before returning to work. However, many workers can’t seem to put down their company gadgets while away from the office. These employees can’t turn their mind completely off from work and feel obligated to assist with any crisis, small problems or quick questions that may arise in their absence.

The International Foundation’s Workplace Wellness and Financial Education report shows almost 70% (67%) of corporations allow vacation time to carryover, which could encourage employees to avoid taking a much-needed break away from the office. Over half (63%) of employers say they encourage vacation/time off, but that often falls short, with 55% of employees not using their full amount of paid time off.

According to the International Foundation’s Employee Benefits survey report, the most common amounts of vacation granted based on years of service are ten days at date of hire, ten days at one year of service, 15 days after five years of service, and 20 days after ten and 20 years of service.

Benefits trend alert! A new concept of fining workers who disrupt their co-workers during paid vacation time is being explored. This emerging policy shows organizations are getting serious about workers truly disconnecting from work and using personal time.

In one model, an employer applied the vacation disruption penalty clause to only a certain number of vacation days. For example, an employee may receive 12 days of paid vacation per year, but only five of those days are designated as guaranteed unplugged. This allows workers to prioritize the paid leave that deserves their undivided attention. They may continue to take other time off throughout the year, to which they’re more accessible for dire work-related situations that need immediate attention.

The same employer said this policy demonstrates the company is prioritizing its employees’ mental health and well-being. They also claimed the change makes employees reconsider interrupting their colleagues on their time off and aware of their reliance on other employees, resulting in a more efficient and long-term workflow in the company.

Will this be something we see more of in 2023? We’ll be watching!

Bella Fonseca
Marketing Communications Specialist at the International Foundation 

The Latest from Word on Benefits:

Bella Tomaw

Marketing Communications Specialist
Favorite Foundation Product: Benefits Magazine. Bella’s a classic, physical book-in-hand kind of person, so the Foundation’s magazine keeps her up-to-date on all things benefits!

Benefits-related Topics That Interest Her Most: Communication, Diversity and Inclusion, Workplace Wellness, Work-Life Benefits

Personal Insight: Bella loves to travel, read and escape through a binge-worthy TV show with a cozy blanket. When she isn’t chasing her sassy pets around, Bella enjoys spending time outdoors for creative inspiration and visiting local markets. Born and raised in Wisconsin, she’s a foodie who’ll take a double order of cheese on everything!

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