Goldman Sachs will allow top bankers to take as many vacations as they want, amid The war for talent and complaints about a culture of long, stressful working hours.
Partners and managing directors at the bank have been told there will be no cap on the number of paid vacation days they can take as part of the new leave policy, according to an internal memo seen by The Telegraph.
The memo said the new “flexible leave” scheme, which took effect May 1, would allow senior Goldman employees “to take time off when needed without entitlement to a specific day off.”
All employees are also expected to take at least 15 days of vacation per year starting next January, with at least one week of consecutive leave.
The memo states: “As a company, we are committed to providing our employees with differentiated benefits and offerings to support well-being and resilience.
“As we continue to care for our employees at every stage of their careers and focus on the experience of our partners and managing directors, we are pleased to announce improvements and changes to our global vacation program designed to further support leave for rest and top up.”
The move makes Goldman the first major financial institution to implement such a policy and represents a significant shift for a bank that has historically been associated with a strict culture that forces its employees to work extremely long hours.
Last year, Goldman’s junior bankers Begged to work only 80 hours a weekafter a survey leaked that highlighted how “inhumane” expectations led to mental health problems among employees.
Unlimited vacation policies are increasingly prevalent among tech companies, but many financial services firms have stuck to traditional structures.
LinkedIn and Netflix are among the other companies that offer versions of the “unlimited time off” scheme, but these policies have faced criticism for resulting in employees taking less time off.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has criticized such policies, saying they are a good idea in theory, but for them to work, companies must have a culture where it is acceptable to take time off on offer.
The new scheme comes in Goldman Companies are increasingly raising salaries and offering generous benefits in an effort to attract and retain talent.
The Wall Street giant is widely seen as one of the world’s most lucrative investment banks, with its New York employees earning an average of $190,000 a year for 16 grueling working hours.
In the UK, Goldman paid the highest bonuses last year of any bank, handing out an average of £180,000 to partners and £350,000 to its vice-chairmen, according to a report from Dartmouth.
The lender was one of a handful of major financial institutions to bring employees back to the office five days a week, with its CEO David Solomon describing working from home as a “temporary aberration”.
Big banks are scrambling to make a career in an investment bank more attractive amid concerns that a generally poor work-life balance is leading to high levels of attrition on all levels.
In March, Citigroup revealed that it was setting up a new office in Malaga as part of efforts to retain staff.
As part of its new policy, more entry-level Goldman employees will be given two extra days of vacation each year.
Goldman Sachs declined to comment.