Goldman Sachs Group Inc. will allow senior employees to take an unlimited number of vacations, the latest move by a Wall Street bank to retain talent in a heated job market.
According to a company memo seen by Bloomberg, New York Investment Bank’s partners and managing directors can take the time they need “without a specific holiday entitlement.” Junior employees still have leave restrictions, but under the new policy introduced earlier this month, at least two extra days off will be granted each year.
All Goldman employees will have to take three weeks off each year starting in 2023, the memo said. This includes at least one consecutive week off.
The new leave policy comes more than a year after the bank’s junior analysts complained of a 100-hour work week and deteriorating physical and mental health in “inhumane” conditions. This is echoed across Wall Street as companies pledge to do more to improve the work-life balance of their employees.
Unlimited leisure policy can have a limited effect on practice. A 2017 survey by HR Platform found that employees of companies with open-ended leave allowances typically take fewer days off a year than traditional systems. And that only applies to the most senior positions on the Wall Street firm, a workaholic team that can’t take advantage too much.
Nevertheless, it is an eye-opener from a bank whose hard-charging culture has become part of Wall Street learning. This reflects how competitive the job market has become as companies from Wall Street to Silicon Valley seek to bring back the workplace policies implemented during the Covid-19 epidemic.
Unlimited vacation allowances are a growing advantage in tech companies, including Netflix Inc. Financial firms – immersed in a long-standing culture – have been slow to adapt, although UK broker Fincap Group PLC said last year that it was changing its holiday policy to offer workers unlimited pay breaks from 2022. The move was designed to help reduce pressure on workers at an unprecedented busy time for the capital market.
Increasing Goldman’s vacation entitlements could help soften the blow by removing the benefits of various epidemics. Goldman finished a free lunch and lunch at the office last month – an opportunity for employees to return to work. The bank has become one of the most aggressive financial institutions to return to office.