Thomson Reuters Corp. is supporting employee well-being with a new policy that allows workers to choose how many vacation days they take each year.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2023, employees in Canada and the U.S. can take vacation time as needed to work on personal well-being, to travel or pursue personal interests. The vacation policy is part of the company’s wider flexibility strategy, which also includes a work-from-anywhere program and mental-health days.
“Flex vacation is about trusting our [employees] and leaders to take the time off that they need when they need it,” says Mary Alice Vuicic, chief people officer at Thomson Reuters. “Previously, like most companies, we had a set amount of vacation days which varied typically by length of service and vacation was capped at that amount.”
Employees still have to notify their team in advance to make sure everyone isn’t off at the same time, she says, adding the policy requires a degree of trust between managers and workers. “Everything is based on the principles of trust, flexibility and connection. So we trust [employees] to work with their leader, deliver what they need to in their role and then take the time off they need. We’ve had a phenomenal response so far. . . . [We’ve had] lots of questions about how it works because it’s new for most people, but they’re very excited about it.”
A flexible vacation policy can be a differentiator for employers looking to attract and retain the most talented workers in a competitive labour market, says Vuicic, while providing a psychologically safe workplace that supports employee well-being.
“Flexibility is one of the most valued aspects of work, so we’re committed to being a leader in that area. This [new policy] is another element of our flexibility program and we think it really rounds out our overall vision for work-life balance.”