Microsoft is giving its US employees unlimited time off. The announcement was made in an email to employees from Kathleen Hogan, Microsoft’s chief people officer, today in a memo seen by The Verge. Microsoft is calling its unlimited time off “Discretionary Time Off,” and it will apply to all salaried US employees.
“How, when, and where we do our jobs has dramatically changed,” explains Hogan in the internal memo. “And as we’ve transformed, modernizing our vacation policy to a more flexible model was a natural next step.”
The changes will start on January 16th and mean even new Microsoft employees don’t need to wait to accrue vacation time anymore. Microsoft will offer 10 corporate holidays, leaves of absence, sick and mental heath time off, and time away for jury duty or bereavement alongside this new unlimited time off policy. Employees that have an unused vacation balance will get a one-time payout in April.
Hourly workers at Microsoft won’t be offered the unlimited time off, nor will employees outside the US. Microsoft says federal and state wage and hour laws make it difficult to offer unlimited time off to hourly workers, and those outside the US will keep their current vacation benefits because of different laws and regulations in other countries.
Microsoft certainly isn’t the first big tech company to adopt unlimited time off. Salesforce, Microsoft-owned LinkedIn, Oracle, and Netflix all offer similar unlimited time off policies for employees. The new policy follows Microsoft allowing more employees to work from home permanently and the company’s $1,500 pandemic bonus for employees.