Microsoft Corporation provides its American employees with an unlimited number of days off. This was announced by Kathleen Hogan, director of human resources at Microsoft, in an email to employees, which was reported by The Verge. Microsoft calls its unlimited days off “Discretionary Leave” and it will apply to all U.S. employees.
“How, when, and where we do our jobs has dramatically changed,” explains Hogan in the internal memo. “And as we’ve transformed, modernizing our vacation policy to a more flexible model was a natural next step.”
The changes will go into effect on January 16 and mean that even new Microsoft employees no longer have to wait to accrue vacation time. Along with this new unlimited vacation policy, Microsoft will offer 10 corporate holidays, self-paid vacation, sick and medical leave, as well as jury duty or bereavement leave. Employees with unused vacation will receive a one-time payment in April.
Hourly Microsoft employees will not be offered unlimited days off, nor will employees outside the US. Microsoft says federal and state wage and hour laws make it difficult to provide unlimited days off to hourly workers, and those working outside the US will keep their current leave due to different laws and regulations in other countries.
Microsoft is certainly not the first major tech company to introduce unlimited days off. Salesforce, Oracle, Netflix and Microsoft-owned LinkedIn offer similar unlimited vacation policies for their employees. The new policy follows Microsoft allowing more employees to work from home all the time and also paying the company’s employees a $1,500 bonus in case of the pandemic.