In order to be able to travel and enjoy the beauty of the world, you need to ensure that your employer is able to easily make this happen for you. When I was thinking about how I would help my readers find the right employer, I decided to reach out to one of my close friends in HR. Manpreet Batoo (HR Supervisor @ a leading Financial Service organization) told me that in order to create a work life balance and enjoy the worlds wonders, you may want to ask your existing or future employer if the following ways to earn and burn vacation are available:
Unfortunately the minimum requirement for vacation in Ontario is only 2 weeks. Some employers offer only the minimum but negotiate this when you are looking for a job. When you find the employer of your dreams stick with it as your number of years of service will add to your vacation days.
Personal Days/Floater Days
Many employers allow you to have multiple personal days (which can be used for any purpose) and floater days that can be used to celebrate a non-statutory religious holiday or enjoy an additional day off. Depending on when you start in the year with an employer you may get 100% of the personal/floater days or ¼ if you start in the last quarter of the year.
Banking of Hours/ Annualized hours
This arrangement allows employees to choose, within negotiated boundaries, their days and hours of work to the maximum for a set period of time. This period of time may be weekly, monthly or yearly. Such arrangements are often a combination of flex time and compressed work week and can help reduce the amount of overtime hours required. These arrangements may be suited to fields where there is variation in demands such as peak hours or seasonal peaks. This is great if your work has set busy seasons where you can put in your 10-12 hour days, but bank those extra hours to use as vacation during the non busy months.
Compressed work week / Summer Hours
Organizations that have this arrangement available typically implement a full-time schedule compressed into four 10 hour days when employees work a 40-hour week. As well, some apply a "summer hour" schedule where they might work longer Monday through Thursday and offer a half day on Fridays. This arrangement allows for a longer weekend and more time for mini-getaways!
This represents regular part-time work where people share the responsibilities of one job. Incumbents work 50 per cent of their regular schedule using a combination of days over a two-week period. Typically, employees wishing to job share seek this arrangement for a longer period. Job sharing may not be the best option for everyone since you are also sharing the salary.
Telecommuting allows employees to work at home part of the week and/or all of the week. This could be a permanent arrangement and/or temporary for a specific project or for a specific time frame. With Internet and computer access to your workplace, this is an easy benefit to implement. Employees can work regular hours and/or scattered hours as long as the work is done. This may not provide additional vacation or travel days, but for those that have longer commutes it might make your work day less stressful going from a 2 hour to a 0 hour commute.
Leaves and Sabbaticals
Leaves and sabbaticals are authorized periods of time away from work without loss of employment rights. Paid or unpaid leaves are usually granted for family, health care, education or leisure reasons. Sabbaticals are usually paid (or partially funded) and occur on a regular basis in addition to vacation time. In some cases, self-funded leaves are also possible where a portion of the employee's salary is withheld and returned to the employee 'as pay' during the time away from work. This would be a great option for someone wanting to travel the globe for 3-6 months and still have a job secured when you return.
Bought Vacation Days/Unpaid Vacation
An organization may allow an employee to purchase additional vacation days, which cost them a ratio of their current salary based on days taken. It is almost like having unpaid time off but guaranteed as it would be part of a benefit package. Employers usually ask that employees get their supervisors permission before buying any additional days (no point in buying days if you won’t have the time to use them). I think this is a great benefit and this past year I actually bought 5 additional vacation days (which I will be using this winter).
Manpreet Batoo – Human Resources Supervisor