The London stockbroker FinnCap will effectively give its employees an unlimited holiday from next year with a requirement to take at least four weeks off, to prevent employee exhaustion.
After a great year for financial negotiation that led to staff working longer hours, the corporate advisory and brokerage firm decided to change its policy to allow workers to take as much leave as they need.
In a development first reported by Bloomberg, the company is asking its investment bankers, salespeople and management employees to take at least four weeks of vacation a year and two or three days a quarter.
“Everyone is really exhausted from the last two years, and it’s not fixed by a quick holiday,” FinnCap CEO Sam Smith told the Guardian. She said the problem was that people were not on holiday enough because they felt guilty about leisure time.
“We’ll turn it around and we won’t have a holiday high, we’ll have a minimum that you have to take.”
A number of U.S. companies, particularly technology firms, have introduced similar unlimited holiday policies but it is an unusual move between financial companies.
Earlier this year, Nike, LinkedIn and the Bumble dating program gave their workers a paid week to relieve stress caused by the pandemic and work from home. CitiGroup said in March it would have “Zoom-free Fridays” while PricewaterhouseCooper and Deloitte said staff could decide when, where and how they work.
However, there are signs of staff being reluctant to take advantage of the extra leave because they don’t want to be seen as the first to do so within their companies. The software company CharlieHR ended up revoking a similar holiday policy in favor of alternative benefits because it produced “a large amount of anxiety”.
Its chief executive, Ben Gately, told the BBC: “A bunch of our team came up to us and said,‘ Actually we’d love to know where the line is. Is it okay to take 35 days? Is it okay to take 25 days? Where should I draw the line? ‘ Because the reality is that it’s not really unlimited. “
Smith, who founded FinnCap in 2007 as the first female CEO of a city brokerage firm, said the important thing is for staff to take regular breaks “every quarter … a few days so you don’t fully deal with all the deals. Time.” to take care of their mental health and prevent exhaustion.
If FinCapp employees end up working while on vacation, they should be able to take an extra day to compensate, she said. Or if they need free time to take their pet to the vet or call a plumber, that doesn’t have to count for their vacation.
The move is designed to relieve the pressure on the broker’s 155 staff. It has recruited more than 30 people since January as the business prospered, particularly in its mergers and acquisitions division, but it is also expanding its debt and sector research teams and employing more office employees. It provides financial and advisory services to financial institutions as well as wealthy individuals.
The company reported record half-year revenue on Thursday, up 55% to £ 31.7m in the six months to September 30th. It made an adjusted pre-tax profit of £ 7.2 million, a 67% increase over the same period last year.