Are Unlimited Holidays a Good Workplace Incentive?


Louise Richardson Copywriter at Mediaworks

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Employee satisfaction and retention is key for any business – unhappy employees are unlikely to give their 100%, and a high staff turnover causes disruption and costs a company money. So when it comes to incentives, is unlimited holiday a good idea?

Article 3 Minutes
Are Unlimited Holidays a Good Workplace Incentive?

According to Glassdoor’s Employment Confidence Survey, about 60% of people report that benefits and perks are a major factor in considering whether to accept a job offer. For that reason, many employers put incentives in place to try and boost employee productivity and satisfaction.

Virgin, Netflix and LinkedIn reportedly offer an unlimited holiday policy to their staff. The policy states that staff can take as many days holiday as they want as long as the job/work is done – and this appears to be a common policy implicated across the USA as well. In fact, it is estimated that 9% of companies around the world offer the same, if not similar, holiday policies. However, how good is this policy as an effective workplace incentive?

The purpose of incentives

Incentives are put in place by employers to encourage staff productivity and boost satisfaction around the workplace. Unlimited holidays, upon the understanding that they can be taken as long as the work has been done, should hypothetically boost productivity. Employees could use the policy as a means for motivation to get the work finished.

However, HR departments question how reliable this policy is, as it becomes clear that holiday allowances aren’t a top driving motivation for recruitment and retention – but according to US figures, 80% still said that the benefit would be considered in the decision-making process.

Badgemaster, retailers of name badges, explore which incentives and workplace benefits have been proven successful at boosting employee production, satisfaction and retention.

The big motivators

Incentives don’t necessarily have to cost your company an arm and a leg, but by investing money into boosting your employee’s satisfaction, and taking into consideration what they want to see will pay off.


At the end of the day, your staff are central to your company’s success. Better health, dental and vision insurance benefits are top of the list for employee motivators (88%), with flexible hours and vacation time, and work from home options not far behind. Companies who offer free eye tests, dental check-ups etc are very appealing to many people as taking away mundane but necessary costs for your employee is recognized as a good company benefit.

Maternity and paternity

Paid maternity and paternity leave is another benefit that influences a job offer, with 42% of respondents in a Harvard Business Review survey, singling this out as a valued benefit when job seeking.


Whilst planning for the future has now also become an increasing consideration for many employees who are now aware of the importance of pension contribution. Workplace pensions are now a compulsory benefit that must be provided by an employer in the UK – and now, employee benefits specialist, Thomsons, even found that employees rated a decent company pension above private medical insurance, extra holiday or childcare vouchers.

Other perks

Other additional benefits that are considered as great perks for employees are gestures such as birthday days off, company/team building activities, social office events, bank holidays off, free snacks and coffee, and employee of the month incentives.

The money factor

Whilst salary is a good motivator to recruit new staff into the company, it’s not necessarily the incentive that guarantees employee retention. The survey by Glassdoor also found that 80% of employees would choose additional benefits over a pay rise.

For many employees, new opportunities, challenging work, good management, recognition and rewards are more impactful on their satisfaction than salary alone.

Whilst many employers and employees are still under the impression that holiday allocation and salary are the main motivators to recruit and retain staff, it seems whilst they are good motivators to get new employees through the door, there are other benefits that are more likely to help boost employee retention.

Louise Richardson

Louise Richardson has been a copywriter at digital marketing agency, Mediaworks, since September 2017. After graduating with a degree in Media Production from University of Sunderland, Louise completed a post-graduate course in Magazine Journalism at PMA Media Training in London before becoming a freelance writer, where she wrote articles for multiple industries. Prior to her position at Mediaworks, Louise was a content writer at travel agency, Hays Travel, and digital marketing company, Visualsoft.


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