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In context: Working in the tech industry might not feel like the most secure profession right now, given the number of people being let go, but it still offers some of the best perks (and pay, usually). Microsoft, for example, is giving its US employees unlimited, fully paid time off.
Microsoft's chief people officer Kathleen Hogan announced the policy change in an email to company staff. All US salaried employees will receive unlimited time off, which Microsoft is calling Discretionary Time Off.
"How, when, and where we do our jobs has dramatically changed," Hogan wrote in the internal memo, seen by The Verge. "And as we've transformed, modernizing our vacation policy to a more flexible model was a natural next step."
In addition to the unlimited time off, Microsoft will offer employees ten corporate holidays, leaves of absence, sick and mental health time off, and time away for jury duty or bereavement. The new policy comes into effect on January 16. It will also apply to new employees, who will no longer have to accrue vacation time. Any employees who have an unused vacation balance will receive a one-time payout in April.
The bad news for Microsoft's hourly workers and those outside the US is that they won't be eligible for Discretionary Time Off. The company says this is due to federal/state wage and hour laws and other countries' different regulations and laws.
Microsoft also allows employees to work from home permanently, something the likes of Apple and Twitter have stopped, and gave a $1,500 pandemic bonus to employees.
Courtesy of Layoffs Tracker
Some other tech firms offer unlimited time off, including Salesforce, though the company is laying off 7,000 people, and its CEO isn't a fan of remote work—or new and younger employees, it seems.
For all the benefits of working in the industry, tech businesses have been laying off staff at a worrying pace over the last 12 months, and things aren't getting better; 29,686 tech employees across 27 companies were let go in the first week of January, 74% more than all the layoffs made during the whole of December. Even Microsoft made cuts in October (under 1,000) as it underwent "structural adjustments."