Netflix Must Replace Unlimited Leave Policy With Six Weeks

Netflix Must Replace Unlimited Leave Policy With Six Weeks

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings recently took a six-week vacation, which he says was intended to set an example for the company. This raises an important and logical question of why the CEO has not just set a policy of six weeks off and do away with the vague blanket of “unlimited” vacation, says a report from The Huffington Post.

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Hastings takes more leave than most employees

Speaking at a New York Times DealBook conference on Tuesday, Hastings said that as part of the company’s long-standing policy of “unlimited” vacation, he takes six weeks off every year. He further said that he is open with his colleagues about his vacations.

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“Just as you would expect, you often do your best thinking [when] you’re off hiking in some mountain,” the CEO said.

Hastings commitment to the company’s leave policy is admirable, but most likely he is among the few in the company to hold such high ranks and take such a sizable chunk of time off, the report says. In comparison, an average Netflix employee takes a leave of three to five weeks during a year, the company told The WSJ a few years ago.

Six weeks standard at Netflix?

If Hastings wants the standard to be set at six weeks, then he should just make it the standard. It is quite generous to allow “unlimited” vacation to employees, but it seems like the policy is not making the employees go crazy about it. It is possible that Netflix employees feel guilty about taking more time off than their colleagues, therefore, enacting a clear six-week vacation policy would be of great help.

Workers in the U.S. are quite restrained about vacations anyway. According to a 2014 survey, on average, 40% of workers with paid leave do not use all of their available days off, the report said.

Nevertheless, Netflix’s CEO has made a welcome shift by embracing “unlimited” vacation. And recent incidents of several big-time company CEOs collapsing at work proves this, the report says. In September at a motor show, BMW’s new CEO, Harald Krueger, fell onstage. Krueger had traveled extensively on business trips, after which he started feeling unwell. Also the Chief of United Continental, Oscar Munoz, suffered a heart attack last month due to extreme stress in the previous days.

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