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Unlimited Holidays?

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I just got an email from a job agency for some job where they offer 'unlimited holidays'.

What's that all about?

I had never heard of this before, but a quick internet search tells me that it's pretty common for hipster IOS/Android developer jobs to offer 'unlimited holidays'.

Have you ever heard of it or does anybody here have 'unlimited holidays' in their employment contract?

How does it work in practice?

The cynic in me tells me that 'unlimited holidays' means effectively no holidays at all (or at least less than the 4 weeks everybody is entitled to by law), as basically the concept seems to be you are free to take as many holidays as you want as long as the business isn't affected... so very few people would be bold enough to take 6 weeks or more off.

Here is one example of such a job offer:

http://www.reed.co.uk/jobs/ios-developer-55000--unlimited-holiday/29460008

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Mate of mine got a well paid Lead Programmer job with this unlimited holidays thing. Haven't seen him since he started so don't know the details, but the cynic in me says it means you'll be worked bloody hard and will be expected to check your emails/be on the phone even when you're 'on holiday'.

I remember as a fresh faced graduate hearing some big companies boasting that they had pool tables and stuff in the office, and those were the companies where you were spending 12 hours a day in the office, hence the addition of toys to tart the place up.

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As many holidays as you want but they're unpaid == zero hours contract?

This.....lots of jobs about like this, they know that if you need the money you most probably will not go on holiday, or if you do go on holiday when you get back you may not get the hours you expected or need. ;)

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It'll be a con.

Companies that pull these sort of things always are.

Branson was on about doing this, so thats just confirmation that its a con, from the UK (Caribeans) top con man.

Get a contract written with work hours, pay, holidays and benefits.

If the company wants more or the employee wants less then re-write the contract.

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Get a contract written with work hours, pay, holidays and benefits.

This.

I, like most people in their 20's when they start their career, took work very personally, did the extra hours unpaid, and none of it was worth it. It was worth it for the directors though, who later sold the company for millions.

If you don't have equity, treat it like a job, and get the same rights that any employee would have.

This is just playing to a 20-something hipster fantasy of being able to perpetually travel the world while earning money. Write code for a couple of hours a day from a beach somewhere.

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Mate of mine got a well paid Lead Programmer job with this unlimited holidays thing. Haven't seen him since he started so don't know the details, but the cynic in me says it means you'll be worked bloody hard and will be expected to check your emails/be on the phone even when you're 'on holiday'.

I remember as a fresh faced graduate hearing some big companies boasting that they had pool tables and stuff in the office, and those were the companies where you were spending 12 hours a day in the office, hence the addition of toys to tart the place up.

This. If there are games, entertainment, food and bars (and beds!) at your place of work it means they expect you to be there all the time and well out of office hours and the culture will be that you spend all your work and "free" time with your colleagues. Never worth it unless it's your company or you have serious equity.

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This. If there are games, entertainment, food and bars (and beds!) at your place of work it means they expect you to be there all the time and well out of office hours and the culture will be that you spend all your work and "free" time with your colleagues. Never worth it unless it's your company or you have serious equity.

Ask them to put in beds and save on renting.

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This.

I, like most people in their 20's when they start their career, took work very personally, did the extra hours unpaid, and none of it was worth it. It was worth it for the directors though, who later sold the company for millions.

If you don't have equity, treat it like a job, and get the same rights that any employee would have.

This is just playing to a 20-something hipster fantasy of being able to perpetually travel the world while earning money. Write code for a couple of hours a day from a beach somewhere.

I ended up doing this for a year or so.

It sort of crep up til I relealised I was working 1h more than contracted, every day - 5h extra a week, ~20h extra a month.

Thats almost a 'an unpaid' week more a month.

Wound it right back.

Basically, if you want overtime fine - pay me time + half.

Ive been asked in interviews whether i would be willing to work extra in 'exceptional' circumstances.

I always reply fine - Yes, for exceptionally extra money.

Its not my company, its not my equity, its not my planning screwup.

If I get an uppity response I than respond that the interviewer seems to not have much faith in the management's ability to plan and manage, and that maybe the fault lies with incompetent management and maybe the company should look at resolving, what to me, looks like glaring shortcoming. And why would I want to work to an org with such short comings.

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Ask them to put in beds and save on renting.

Speaking to the owner of a restaurant last night after a meal out - the staff sleep upstairs because they can't afford to rent elsewhere on their wages!

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If I get an uppity response I than respond that the interviewer seems to not have much faith in the management's ability to plan and manage, and that maybe the fault lies with incompetent management and maybe the company should look at resolving, what to me, looks like glaring shortcoming. And why would I want to work to an org with such short comings.

Good for you. All too many businesses appear find the idea of actually paying their staff for the work they do abhorrent. Why should I sacrifice any of my own time for it? Ask them if they're happy for anyone they supply to to have a few extra widgets every delivery for free, because of exceptional circumstances.

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This. If there are games, entertainment, food and bars (and beds!) at your place of work it means they expect you to be there all the time and well out of office hours and the culture will be that you spend all your work and "free" time with your colleagues. Never worth it unless it's your company or you have serious equity.

Not where I work, not showing off just listing what we have, keep in mind this is a small office of 15 people split in single level.

Pool Table

Darts Board

2 - 3D TV's

PS4, XB One, PS3, Original Xbox

Arcade Machine (with 1000+ games)

Cupboard stacked with food

Beer and Wine always available

Regular monthly Pool evenings, which include BBQ

Lunch every Thursday, not compulsory, generally a take away of some sort, Pizza etc

We used to get taken to the pub every Friday for a pint (or three) and lunch but that unfortunately was stopped by the tax man, eating out is not tax deductible, where entertaining for staff in the office is not, hence the Thursday lunch (on a Thursday because the office manager doesn't work Fridays)

I also have effectively unlimited holidays, agreed a deal with the boss, get the normal 30 days a year but any extras I want I can take unpaid.

We work a standard 9-5, I've possibly done 10 hours actual over time in 10 years and that was in the space of a week when we had a deadline about 6 years ago. As for pay, I'm sure I could get a bit more else where, but not masses and not without sacrificing a ton of benefits.

I'm under no illusions this is out of the ordinary but I do think the idea that just because there are things like this in a work place it means it's a terrible place to work, I think this attitude comes to some degree from people used to working in traditional jobs in traditional offices.

--------

As for the original comment, as said I'd say it basically means zero hours, obviously no pay for holiday at all, dressed up as a perk but it reality it's a massive negative.

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Good for you. All too many businesses appear find the idea of actually paying their staff for the work they do abhorrent. Why should I sacrifice any of my own time for it? Ask them if they're happy for anyone they supply to to have a few extra widgets every delivery for free, because of exceptional circumstances.

One daft thing that I keep coming across, both when applying for jobs or sorting out a couple of companies recruitment.

Getting a job description and the companies T+C's out before the interview.

It should not be a problem!

You either have a standard contract - and Im not talking job specifics, just work hours, holiday and stuff.

I get suspicious if a company cannot email the T+Cs + job description the day.

When Ive been recruiting I ask for the T+C and job description before starting - WTF do you mean you've not got them written down FFS! And this is with full-time HR too!

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As for the original comment, as said I'd say it basically means zero hours, obviously no pay for holiday at all, dressed up as a perk but it reality it's a massive negative.

Have you looked at the example job offer with unlimited holidays I linked to in the first post?

That's most definitely not a zero hours contract, it's a 55K full-time developer position.

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I don't have any direct experience of 'unlimited' holiday, but I've worked at a lot of hipster development shops over the years and it has always been practically impossible to take any holiday during normal development cycles. Most of the places I worked for, you'd find that the office would be empty for the whole of December as people took their yearly holiday allowance rather than lose it. Alternatively, when game projects have shipped, the office would practically close down for a couple of weeks, assuming that all the staff weren't laid off at the end of the development cycle.

I'd be very wary of anywhere that advertises unlimited anything in their job descriptions, as I'm sure that they will have a very different definition of unlimited to the likes of you and I. Having said that, if you're happy enough to spend all of the year at work, £40-50k is what it is.

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I'm under no illusions this is out of the ordinary but I do think the idea that just because there are things like this in a work place it means it's a terrible place to work, I think this attitude comes to some degree from people used to working in traditional jobs in traditional offices.

Sounds like you're working in a great place - congrats. I've spent most of my career in high tech and startups, including one of my own. These environments "require" their staff to all be believers and be on a mission and thus to put in major hours. Adding a "fun" environment either compensates for this or is a trick, depending on one's point of view. Most of the time, in any company, the management/shareholders are out for themselves.

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I just got an email from a job agency for some job where they offer 'unlimited holidays'.

What's that all about?

The cynic in me tells me that 'unlimited holidays' means effectively no holidays at all (or at least less than the 4 weeks everybody is entitled to by law), as basically the concept seems to be you are free to take as many holidays as you want as long as the business isn't affected... so very few people would be bold enough to take 6 weeks or more off.

Here is one example of such a job offer:

http://www.reed.co.uk/jobs/ios-developer-55000--unlimited-holiday/29460008

Probably correct, given the hints in the posted advert:

"Experience working with Git"

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Probably correct, given the hints in the posted advert:

"Experience working with Git"

Any old Git? :wacko:

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