Is it time to overhaul your vacation policies?

by on
in Employment Law,Human Resources

Take a look around your workplace. How many of your co-workers spent all summer right there at their stations? Maybe they took a long weekend or two, but otherwise they showed up day in and day out.

It might be time to make those drudges get out and go on vacation.

Europeans are fond of saying they work to live and Americans live to work. Over there, laws mandate between four and six weeks of vacation.

But on this side of the Atlantic, we’re often loath to take vacations, especially in these trying economic times. Employees may fear they’ll be seen as weak links or poor team members.

That driven (or scared) mentality can be bad for both employees and employers. Exhausted workers are more likely to make mistakes, cause accidents and are generally less productive. A mandatory week of vacation gives employers a recharged workforce and employees some important stress relief.

Many companies require employees to use their vacations.

Some go a step further: They schedule employees’ vacation breaks for them. That’s got some advantages. Employers can better manage work flow—and avoid being caught short-handed—if they schedule the vacations themselves.

In tight times, it may seem like a radical step to take. Then again, look at the haggard expressions on your co-workers’ faces.

Note: Employment lawyers say many of the employees they see in their offices these days feel burned out and stressed from workplace demands. Those are the kinds of workers who look for reasons to sue. A mandatory vacation policy just might reduce the risk of an employment lawsuit.

Leave a Comment