In the UK, the minimum leave allowance is 28 days, or 5.6 weeks, a year. This includes 8 bank holidays, on which employees may be required to take the day off or be available to work – depending on their terms of employment.

Now, while some companies are happy to simply offer the legally required holiday allowance, feeling that it’s sufficient (especially compared to the US, where there’s no legal minimum). However, offering your staff more annual leave than the legal minimum is as beneficial for you as it is for your staff; here’s why:

Fewer absences from sick leave

The more annual leave allowance employees are entitled to the more opportunities they have to take a break when they’re close to burning out from stress. With fewer holiday days to play with, employees are more likely to hoard them, saving them up for a longer break, like a family holiday. Consequently, they’ll be left with little choice but to try and power through, until they become overwhelmed and have to take sick leave.

Or, in lieu of not wanting to use one of their precious days of annual leave – they could just call in sick anyway. Either way, it’s an absence thrust upon you instead of being one you can approve, track and manage.

More productive staff

A second benefit of granting more than the minimum amount of annual leave, which goes hand in hand with less sick leave, is having more productive employees. There are two reasons for this: An increase in their personal productivity and a better company culture.

With more opportunities to rest and recuperate when they feel they need a break, employees will return to work sharper and more productive. They’ll also be likely to make mistakes, resulting in lower costs for the company and less resulting stress for the employee. They’re also likely to retain their motivation over a longer period and may come up with creative ideas that significantly benefit the entire company.

In addition to being more motivated, they’re also simply going to be happier, contributing to a positive workplace culture. With staff taking more frequent breaks, they’ll be less on edge and better able to co-operate with their co-workers. Communication will be swifter and more pleasant, collaboration will be smoother, and the company, ultimately, will be more productive – and profitable.

For attracting and retaining top talent

A larger holiday allowance is an effective way of keeping and retaining valuable staff. New employees will see the large allowance as an attractive benefit, especially if they’re entertaining offers from several companies. Existing employees meanwhile, will have to think carefully about going elsewhere; increasingly so the more attractive.

This is supported by the fact that a larger holiday allowance is one of the most sought after benefits, and is relatively cheap to offer, compared to other employee perks. Also, as explored above, additional holiday allowance has a number of positive knock-on effects that make it a wise choice as a benefit offered by your organisation.