Belfast Telegraph

'Unlimited' holidays for Virgin staff in the UK

By Neil Lancefield

Sir Richard Branson is to allow his staff to take as much annual leave as they want in a bid to boost morale and productivity.

He said on his blog that Virgin Group workers in the UK and US would have no limits on time off – as long as they feel up-to-date on every project and their absence does not hurt the firm.

The billionaire entrepreneur said he would encourage all Virgin companies in which he holds a stake to adopt the policy if it proves successful.

He made the decision after his daughter Holly told him how online streaming firm Netflix did not have an annual leave policy, meaning staff can be away from the office whenever they want.

Sir Richard (64) also posted an extract taken from his book The Virgin Way, which read: "It is left to the employee to decide if and when he or she feels like taking a few hours, a day, a week or a month off, the assumption being they are only going to do it when they feel comfortable that they are up to date on every project and that their absence will not in any way damage the business.

"It is always interesting to note how often the adjectives 'smart' and 'simple' describe the cleverest of innovations. Well, this is surely one of the simplest and smartest initiatives I have heard, and I'm delighted to say we have introduced this (non) policy at our parent company in both the UK and the US, where vacation policies can be particularly draconian.

"Assuming that it goes as well as expected, we will encourage all our subsidiaries to follow suit, which will be incredibly exciting to watch."

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