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Counting the days: Designing a flexible holiday policy

Four years after the introduction of a flexible-holiday policy in his firm, Ashtons Legal managing partner Edward O’Rourke reflects on how it has benefited both staff and the business.

4 February 2019

In the autumn of 2014 there was a brief flurry of news surrounding holiday policies. This was spurred on by an announcement by Richard Branson that Virgin staff would be allowed to take as much holiday as they wanted.

One headline read: “Unlimited holiday leave? You decide, says Richard Branson”. This was followed by the sub-heading: “Virgin staff will be allowed to take as much holiday as they want, when they want, Sir Richard Branson announces.”

At the time, Ashtons Legal – then Ashton KCJ – was looking to adopt more employee-friendly policies as part of the strategic drive towards being an employer of choice. We had already contemplated looking at a Netflix-type arrangement but had not carried out any detailed investigation.

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