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Are unlimited vacation day benefits a perk or a pain?

Posted Aug 23, 2013 2:42 PM CDT
By Rachel M. Zahorsky

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With more companies offering unlimited vacation days to employees, some are wondering if this seemingly friendly perk is actually a downer for workers.

The practice, which has taken off in places like Silicon Valley and adopted by Netflix and Best Buy, saves companies from having to track employee vacation time or pay accrued time to employees who leave, the Christian Science Monitor reports. It also save workers the hassle of having to schedule days they might otherwise lose at the end of the year.

However, critics counter that competitive workplaces combined with a lack of guidelines for using time off could make employees feel guilty about requesting vacation days or promote resentment toward those to do take vacation or take more than others, according to the report. In fact, 57 percent of U.S. workers have unused vacation time at the end of the year, according to a 2011 Harris Interactive survey, the CSM reports.

While legal experts note that unlimited vacation policies still have to adhere to other workplace policies that mandate time off, such as disability or maternity and paternity leave, the Christian Science Monitor adds that the U.S. is the only wealthy country in the world that has set no national policy on vacation days.

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