Congratulations Leave?! Those of you running your own business may already despair about the costs of maternity, paternity, shared parental, sick leave and holiday pay – take a look through this list published by Personnel Today of more “unusual” days off granted in some countries!

Whilst you might not be keen to adopt many of these, there are a couple of ideas that we find interesting. Would they work for you?

One large multi-national organisation we know of has just introduced birthday leave – a day off on your birthday, or if that’s on a weekend, the nearest Friday to it. The feel good factor this has resulted in is worth taking note of. It’s a policy that could easily be implemented at very little cost in smaller businesses too. Is it something your employees would value?

Employees in France with at least 3 years’ service with their current employer can request an unpaid sabbatical of up to 11 months and they can use that time for anything they like.

We’re fans of offering sabbatical opportunities to long standing employees – managed well they can enable you to retain loyal talented employees who don’t experience burn out, have higher degrees of life satisfaction and therefore are more productive and motivated.

They also provide opportunities for other employees to gain valuable experience if they “act up” into a more senior role or develop new skills by taking on additional responsibilities to help cover a sabbatical absence.

The potential for employees to bring fresh new ideas back into a business, the great PR when recruiting and therefore the ability to attract higher quality candidates, and the buzz of energy in a forward thinking company helping people realise personal as well as work related ambitions are all more great reasons to consider if you could offer sabbaticals to your team.


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