Richard Branson unveils unlimited holiday allowance for Virgin staff

Billy Ehrenberg
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Branson said he got the idea from his daughter, who claimed that a friend's company had done something similar (Source: Getty)

Entitled "why we are letting Virgin staff take as much holiday as they want" a Richard Branson blog post is making waves.

The Virgin supremo will allow his staff to take off unlimited amounts of time with no questions asked - so long as breaks do not impinge upon individual or team targets.

The approach, which is modelled on a similar strategy by Netflix, doesn't require employees or their superiors to keep track of days off.

The UK currently gives 20 working days annual leave, the minimum under EU law, putting us about mid-table in a report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

Some countries get extra holiday days on top of annual leave or change the allowance based on seniority. These numbers are not included here.

Branson said he saw flexible holidays as the next step in flexible working:

Flexible working has revolutionised how, where and when we all do our jobs. So, if working nine to five no longer applies, then why should strict annual leave policies?

It is left to the employee alone to decide if and when he or she feels like taking a few hours, a day, a week or a month off, the assumption being that they are only going to do it when they feel a hundred per cent comfortable that they and their team are up to date on every project and that their absence will not in any way damage the business – or, for that matter, their careers!

Branson said he got the idea from his daughter, Holly, who claimed a friend's company had done something similar.

I have a friend whose company has done the same thing and they’ve apparently experienced a marked upward spike in everything – morale, creativity and productivity have all gone through the roof.

The Bransons may have a point; according to research by 24/7 Wallstreet, which found "paid vacation and holidays don't appear to have any meaningful impact on macroeconomic outcomes."

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