Grant Thornton to Offer Unlimited Vacations

Chicago-based Grant Thornton (FY15 net revenue of $1.4 billion) will offer its U.S. employees unlimited time off, a strategy it hopes will entice workers from rivals with traditional vacation plans, The Australian Financial Review reported.

The new policy, in place by November, will affect 6,700 workers and replace vacation time that capped days off at 30 for the most senior staff, the firm said.

“This is a modern move for an industry where these types of benefits aren’t really common,” says Pamela Harless, chief people and culture officer for Grant Thornton. “We are convinced it will help us to be far more attractive in retaining talent as well as attracting talent.”

U.S. companies, feeling the pressure to replace top talent in an improving economy, are adding benefits that appeal to Millennials, workers now in their 20s and early 30s. Companies are offering more paid leave for new mothers and fathers, insurance coverage for same-sex partners and flexible work arrangements.

Grant Thornton in December added extra days off before a busy season from January through May. After tax season, employees created their own, more flexible schedules. Removing the limit on vacation days was the next step, Harless told the magazine.

Among the Big 4, KPMG offers a maximum of 30 days, Deloitte has a maximum 35 days and PwC has a maximum of 22 for management level staff, according to the companies. EY has a minimum of 15 days with additional days added with years of service, according to a description of the policy on the company website.

Grant Thornton will be measuring the program and making sure that employees are using vacation time, Harless says. “We are very confident that we are the right type of culture and the right type of environment where this can make a huge difference for our people and for our clients.”