Why You Should Require Employees Take Vacation

by Evil HR Lady on July 17, 2020

When you launch a business, you tend to know everyone in the office. As such, it can give you the feeling that you can trust everyone. But small and mid-size businesses make up 68 percent of employee theft, according to Hiscox, an insurance company. 

What if there was an easy way to reduce your exposure? And what if you already had this system in place, but you just weren’t taking advantage of it?

It’s vacation.

Yep. Send your employees on vacation. Here’s why.

Send people on a true vacation–no laptops, no phones, no logging on, for two weeks. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has¬†a longstanding recommendation¬†that banks have a two-consecutive-week vacation policy:

To keep reading, click here: Why You Should Require Employees Take Vacation

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

grannybunny July 17, 2020 at 2:20 pm

I’m one of those who rarely takes vacation time. My Agency allows us to cash in 128 hours of Annual Leave each year — receiving a cash payout instead of time off — which I do religiously, but still have to intentionally take time off near the end of the year in order to avoid forfeiting leave under our Use or Lose policy, limiting accumulated Annual Leave to 560 hours. I don’t forgo vacations in order to cover up embezzlement — or any other kind of fraud — but because my job is very demanding and fulfilling, and there’s no way productivity wouldn’t suffer in my absence. That being said, it’s a sad commentary on our society that the emphasis seems to be on promoting leave to avoid fraud, as opposed to promoting leave to improve employee well-being.


AnalystRobot July 17, 2020 at 3:31 pm

Vacations expose theft outside of the banking industry. Any company that has self reported metrics has a potential for padded results. It’s really easy to spot inconsistencies when the culprit goes on vacation for a week—or when the culprit refuses to leave their laptop. (Anytime an employee throws a disproportionate fit about report/data/process changes then I know something is wrong.)


Mr. Cajun2core July 17, 2020 at 3:33 pm

If an employer requires 2 weeks consecutive vacation, they need to provide at least a total of 3 weeks of vacation. What if when your vacation is scheduled does not coincide with a relatives wedding or an out of town graduation or some other event that you wish to attend. Yes, sometimes you can plan for it but not always.

What about a leaky faucet that needs to be repaired or an issue with your cable or any other event that you need to take the afternoon off for to wait at home for a service person?

Forcing me to take all of my vacation at once would really kill my moral at a business.


Elizabeth West July 17, 2020 at 4:19 pm

Mr. Cajun2core makes a good point. Most American workers don’t get enough PTO and/or sick time to cover everything, so we tend to hoard it. Butt-in-seat bosses tend not to want you to take off either, which is also horrible for morale.

Taking time to rest and recharge is really valuable. Thanks to accrued PTO, in 2014 I was able to travel around the UK for nearly three weeks. It was the first time in my entire life I’d ever had a REAL vacation. At one point, I realized that I’d completely forgotten I even had a job. When I went back to work, I felt refreshed and raring to go. Generous leave policies are worth the investment.


Just Me July 17, 2020 at 5:11 pm

One of the places I worked required certain positions to take off work a minimum of 8 calendar days at a time each year. They were a foreign based company that had a LOT more vacation time than those of us in the US. In my own way of protesting, I always took the week of Thanksgiving so I was only using 3 vacation days to get in my 8 calendar days.

When you work in certain positions or industries, unless you have very capable cross-trained coworkers, you pay for taking a long vacation with extra work before you leave and when you come back.

There are lots of reasons people don’t take long vacations, and I’d guess only a tiny fraction are because they are stealing from the company. As we’ve seen with the COVID situation, there are some people who just being out of their regular routine for too long causes them great stress and anxiety.


Tim C. July 20, 2020 at 12:26 pm

There are going to be quite a few who have fat PTO accounts. COVID 19 made sure all of the fun and travel have been closed down. Theme parks, movie theaters, sporting events, and museums were all closed down. If you still had work, employers did not want you to take time off. I am still a bit hesitant to take vacation when I could be laid off. The added time would be added insurance to stay solvent until I could get another job.


Michael Butts July 21, 2020 at 3:41 pm

I’m a department of one with global responsibilities. Taking time off requires absorbing 5-7 days of punishment (completing weeks of work prior to departure, continuity planning for the endless emergencies, etc.) before leaving and 5-7 days of punishment (processing hundreds of emails/mail/emergencies) after my return. It makes the microscopic reward of “time off” not worth the effort.


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