Vancouver company offering employees unlimited vacation

A Vancouver company is revamping its holiday policy, giving their employees unlimited paid vacation.

BuildDirect, a Vancouver-based website that sells home improvement and building materials at wholesale prices, unveiled the plan earlier this week.

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"We ask people to deliver a lot of aggressive results and we feel like that needs to be balanced with taking a break," Heidi Rolston, the company's vice-president of people, told CTV Vancouver.

All of the company’s 300 employees are salaried, meaning the vacation time they do take will be paid.

The concept is growing south of the border with large companies such as LinkedIn, Netflix and the Virgin Group offering similar benefits to their employees.

"If working nine to five no longer applies, then why should strict annual leave (vacation) policies?" Virgin founder Richard Branson wrote in a blog post when describing the new plan in 2014.

Rolston says the company believes giving this option will help employees learn new skills to make them more productive at work.

The company currently monitors vacation time and asks employees to take a certain minimum of time off work, in order to stay productive.

But there is a catch with the new deal.

Sales targets must still be met and Rolston admits there won't be complete flexibility around the plan.

"We still need to service our customers; we still need to work with our suppliers. So it's not like we have complete flexibility around this," she said.

Employees, however, are excited about the prospect of more chances to kick back and relax.

"My past few jobs I was always the girl taking unpaid vacation so I'm really excited to be able to take my minimum and then some, which I definitely will do," said Katie Kernahan, a marketing manager.

With a report from CTV Vancouver


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