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US employers paving the way for subsidised staff holidays

It is a well-known fact that American workers often do not use all their paid leave

A small number of US employers have taken things into their own hands and have started to offer financial incentives to staff to ensure they get away from it all.

These seven companies are some of the subsidised holiday trendsetters:

Afar Media

As long as employees of online travel site Afar Media have been working there for a minimum of six months, they can receive up to $2,000 (over £1,500) from their employer each year as a contribution towards trips within the US and abroad.

As far as holiday allowances go, Afar Media is also one of the more generous employers, giving new starters 15 days’ holiday a year on top of paid holidays. This increases to 20 days after two years of employment. The icing on the cake comes during winter, when the company shuts up shop for a week – employees also get this time off!


BambooHR is a software provider that holds a firm belief in staff needing holidays and time away from the office to enable them to do their best work. It recognises that financial constraints can prevent this happening; therefore, employees who have been with the company for at least six months are rewarded with up to $2,000 a year. This can be used to buy plane tickets, hotel accommodation, or even tours and shows.


Not only does contact management software maker FullContact insist on staff taking at least three weeks off each year but also its financial contributions for holidays are envy-inducing. As long as employees promise to do absolutely zero work – no calls and no emails – while away, they can claim $7,500 a year to spend as they wish.


Irrespective of how long employees have worked at organisation app maker Evernote, $1,000 can be claimed if staff take five days or more off work. There is no expressed requirement to travel or do anything specific with the money as long as no contact is made with the office.


One or two Betabrand employees a month can enjoy a most-expenses-paid four-night international trip with two days’ free holiday. To be in with a chance of winning, staff sign up to the online clothing site’s FlyAway Programme, explaining where in the world they would like to go and for what reason. Winners are chosen by management based on responses and managers then organise and pay for the trips, announcing the winners at the company’s frequent meetings.

G Adventures

To enable G Adventures staff to experience their employer’s small-group travel tours themselves, full-time employees who have been there a year or more can take one of G Adventures’ 650 different trips every 10 months. The company provides staff with a subsidy of $2,850, including a flight subsidy of approximately $570. The holiday time has to come from the employee’s allowance.


With at least 15 days’ paid holiday, Airbnb staff also benefit from a $500 credit towards Airbnb accommodation every three months courtesy of their employer. While holiday can be carried over to the next quarter, staff are encouraged to use all their holiday entitlement.

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