Friday, 31 July 2009

Would you exchange pay for holidays?


As the entire management and staff of HR Case Studies are about to take a well-earned all expenses paid holiday to a secret exotic location, it seems appropriate to look at the recent initiative in which the telecommunications company BT offered employees an up front sum of 25% of annual salary in return for taking the whole year off. Clearly this has been done in an attempt to reduce the organisation's wage bill while trying to avoid redundancies after being hit by the economic downturn. Comments posted on the BBC website (including the views of BT employees) indicate that the initiative has had a mixed response.

  • Look at the comments on the BBC website: Why is there such a wide spectrum of responses to this initiative?

  • A "flexible response from a forward thinking employer" or "utter nonsense"; where would you position yourself in this debate?

  • How well (or not!) does this seem to have been communicated within BT?

  • Which types of employees might find such an initiative attractive?

  • How would you respond if you were working for BT?

  • What other initiatives have been taken by companies in recent months to reduce costs without having to resort to redundancies?

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