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Unlimited vacation policy sample & template

Looking to implement an unlimited vacation / time-off policy? This template is completely customizable and available as a Word doc, Google Doc, and PDF!

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How to use this template

This template is built on a premise of trusting your employees by default (until they break that trust). We are big proponents of giving employees the flexibility they need for rest, relaxation, and recovery.

That being said, we have noticed that some companies are a little nervous about the phrase “unlimited vacation,” so we’ve seen quite a few adopt the title of a “flexible time off” policy, instead. You’re welcome to adapt this template to your own company’s needs and culture!

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What you'll find in this unlimited vacation policy sample & template (& quick tips!)

INTRODUCTION

This is a space to put your company’s unlimited vacation policy in the context of the organization’s values and culture. It’s also a good time to outline exactly what an unlimited vacation policy is, and how the company sees it differentiates from a traditional vacation or sick time policy.

In our sample, we use the following:

At [Company Name], we take pride in our employees’ incredible work ethic, and we want to reward and recognize that by offering an unlimited vacation policy. Instead of a traditional vacation or sick day policy, you can request time off as you see fit. No vacation days will accrue, no time off will expire, and you won’t see any mention of vacation time on your pay stubs.

We have adopted this policy because it embraces two key parts of our company culture: trust in each other and a great work-life balance. We believe that in order to do your best work, you should get the time you need for rest, rejuvenation, or recovery. This policy is also based on a mutual trust between you, your team, your manager, and the company as a whole.

Instead of accruing and tracking vacation time, you can simply plan the vacation time you’d like to take off with your manager and your team. The time off is yours to enjoy (or just there when you need it), as long as you follow the company guidelines detailed below!

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR UNLIMITED VACATION? 

This seems to be pretty universal across unlimited vacation policies, but you may want to adapt it or change some of the language for your particular company:

This policy applies to all salaried, exempt employees of [Company Name]. Due to time tracking requirements for non-exempt staff, unlimited vacation is available only to exempt employees.

WHAT CAN THE TIME OFF BE USED FOR? 

For some employees, this benefit can seem “too good to be true,” especially if they’re coming from a world of accruing PTO. Alleviate their concerns by just detailing that the time off is truly there for them to use as they see fit, and list examples that you may often run into. There are some occasions where companies choose to implement a separate policy for sick days, mental health days, etc., but we’ve chosen to go with more of an umbrella approach.

In our sample, we use:
The time off is yours, to use as you see fit! You can use it for vacations, staycations, weddings, illness, family illness, emergencies, mental health days, doctor’s appointments, or any other personal matters that might require you to take time off from work.

HOW THE POLICY WORKS: 

In this section, we get into the finer details of the policy and lay out how mutual trust makes it all work well for everyone.

This is likely the section that varies most from place-to-place, but you should include:

  • How the approval process works: Who approves it? What are the guidelines for approval? In what situations might an employee’s time off not be approved? 
  • How much notice an employee should give: This varies across companies, but for planned absences, we usually see something like 2-4 weeks notice.
  • Guidance for use of the policy: There are a lot of opinions on PTO, and it can feel like a bit of a ‘gotcha’ moment if you don’t outline it with a lot of intent. We suggest adding a minimum requirement for days off, which gives you a.) a logical reason to track time off and b.) lays out the expectation that you aren’t just implementing an “unlimited” policy so that employees will actually use less vacation days.
  • How time off is tracked and requested: Otherwise, you’ll get this question every day. 🙂
  • How other forms of leave are or are not covered by this policy: For example, we used a blanket statement to just make sure that employees realize that this doesn’t cover all types of leave, such as FMLA, Parental, Short- or Long Term Disability, leaves required by state law, and other extended leave situations.
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