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Business Magnate Richard Branson Gives His Staff Unlimited Vacation

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Richard Branson, the chairman and founder of Virgin Group, said on his website Tuesday that he’s giving his whole personal staff unlimited vacation days.

Branson’s staff of almost 200 can “take off whenever they want for as long as they want,” the executive said on his website, adding that employees don’t need to ask for approval, nor are their managers requested to keep track of their days away from work.

Employees can take however much time off from work they choose, “the assumption being that they are only going to do it when they feel a hundred per cent comfortable that they and their team are up to date on every project and that their absence will not in any way damage the business,” Branson said.

The flexible hours employees were working both in the office and at home already make it hard to track how many hours they’re working anyway, Branson said.

The Financial Times reported that the new rules apply to around 170 staff at the Virgin head offices in the U.K. and U.S., whereas the 50,000 employees of the larger Virgin Group won’t enjoy the same policy — though Branson said in his note if it’s successful, he’ll encourage Virgin’s subsidiaries to adopt the policy as well.

Branson said he was inspired by Netflix, the video-streaming service, which has a similar policy.

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