Firm Forces Staff to Take Time Off, Slaps Hefty Fines for Violations

In an employment benefits novelty, one company has been applying a policy of mandating at least a week’s time off work per year for its employees, which it enforces by slapping hefty fines on those who violate the rule.

The Fine is for Those Bothering Others

More and more companies worldwide are experimenting with various new approaches to work – such as four-day work weeks and even three-day work weeks. This comes after remote work was more or less made the norm for office workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

One Indian company, however, placed emphasis on the time that its employees need to unwind, do no work whatsoever, and even not get bothered at all by their colleagues back at the office.

The firm called Dream11, which is based in the Indian city of Mumbai, found a “fix” for the frequent business calls that can ruin a vacation, BNN Bloomberg reported.

Dream 11, which operates a platform for fantasy sports, not only made time off work obligatory every year, but is also extremely strict about those back at the office who dare bother a vacationing colleague with work-related calls, emails, or chat messages.

The company, which was established in 2008, mandates every single one of its employees take at least one whole week off work every year, co-founder Bhavit Sheth said in an interview with CNBC.

To make sure employees who are on duty do not ruin the vacations of those taking time off, the Dream11 company enforces a strict policy of fining violators 100,000 rupees, or about $1,200, if they dare to bother a coworker on holiday.

Kicked Out of the System

Sheth says his firm has set up its computer system to “kick out” each employee for a year once a week. That means receiving no telephone calls, no emails, and no messages on the work chat service Slack.

The company co-founder insists “it helps you greatly” to be ultimately off work for one week and have that fully “uninterrupted time” to yourself. The 36-year-old manager says the system has shown itself to be highly effective.

In a separate statement, the company commented its management was convinced that the uninterrupted vacation time helped its employees (“Dreamsters”) to “relax, recharge,” and return to work in a condition in which they would be able to “give their best.”

The report describes the sizable fine for disturbing a vacationing coworker as an “eye-catching way” to help workers have a “quality break.”

It also notes that other companies, such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc., have adopted a policy allowing “unlimited vacations.”

However, last year, a British recruiting firm decided to abandon that practice as some employees started feeling guilty as they were uncertain how many days they should take off work.

This article appeared in Mainstpress and has been published here with permission.