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    6 Unique Leave Policies: The New Culture Indicators

    November 5, 2016

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    Unique Employee Leave Policies

    A lot has been said about org culture and its role in attracting the right talent but we often struggle to identify the indicators of an org’s culture. True, there are the obvious hints of open door policies, flexible work hours, casual dress codes, innovation etc, but isn’t every company pitching themselves on these lines today?

    How do we really distinguish is the question?

    And then I came across a workplace policy that can help decipher org culture to an extent Employee Leave policy

    Despite having substantial corporate experience, I realized I missed out on many  variants of leave policies for employees that are adopted by organizations to reflect a culture of their own. After a quick research, below is the list of unique HR leave policies and what they indicate about a company’s culture -

    1. Core / Mandatory Leave

    HSBC internationally offers core or mandatory leave of 2 weeks for employees which needs to be availed at a stretch. During the core leave, employees need to be away from the workplace and shouldn’t engage in any work related matters including replying to emails on their phone.

    Organizations like these emphasize on the need to unwind for a productive self. It’s the work hard, party hard kind.

    'Continuous' employees have the liberty to take this leave at any point in the current fiscal year, during their term of employment, by arrangement with their manager.

    2. Unlimited Vacation

    While we have got the unlimited data packages in India, we need to wait a bit longer for the unlimited paid vacation policy. As we move towards a time where there is an increase in the number of employers these days, there are chances that your workplace may offer a flexible or 'unlimited' vacation policy as an HR Leave Policy. The idea here is that you as an employee are free to take as much time off as you choose, as long as you get the work done. It’s a focus on producing great results, rather than just putting in the hours. It still seems a far stretched idea of this being a part of HR Leave policies in India, but the possibilities are surely there.

    Few international companies like Virgin airlines and Netflix are differentiating themselves with an unlimited leave policy. Organizations like these are placing their bets on their employee’s self-motivation rather than supervision.

    3. Negative Leaves

    This one’s like an overdraft facility on your credit card. To simply put, negative leave policies are basically about taking more leave than your accrued leave entitlement set as per the organization. Negative leave policies can apply to both annual and personal leaves. 
    Mckinsey allows their men in suits to take leaves over and above the yearly balance. The negative leave balance can be adjusted with the following year’s leave quota. Organizations like these have their employees covered for the long term rather than just a year.


    4. Uncapped Sick leave

    As you might have guessed, this type of leave policy comes with no strings attached, sort of a deal with the employees having the liberty to take as many sick leaves they'd require.
    A leave type on which there is often analysis about abuse and absenteeism, Godrej has distinguished itself by offering an uncapped sick leave. The organization believes that illness doesn’t come with a count of days and most importantly the company illustrates a culture of trust by adopting a policy with no limit.

    5. Family Leave

    While maternity and paternity leaves seem to be the hot topic of the year, family leave policy is a unique employee benefit offered by one of the Big 4s, Deloitte. Company offers a 16 week paid leave to not just new parents but even to employees who need to care for an ailing family member. Organizations like these are truly empathetic and believe in investing in an employee’s personal life.

    6. Leave Pooling

    If you have heard that the sharing and pooling economy is on the rise, then it’s true. Collaboration is at the core of these organizations that allows employees to share their leaves with those who need it. Accenture calls it the  'Hours That Help' programme.

    P.S: At Darwinbox, we have a no-policy policy, but our platform is built to support any leave policy your organization may have. Schedule a demo to see for yourself. If you’re interested in understanding how HRMS can help you in creating a systematic leaves policy, you can check out this article.

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