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PwC is paying employees to take vacation

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From Accounting Today: PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is encouraging its employees to use their vacation days by actually paying them additional money to do it, while also giving them salary increases and bonuses across the board.

The firm announced base salary increases for employees Friday, along with an expanded bonus pool. The firm is also giving a special “thank you” bonus this month to employees equivalent to one week’s pay to recognize employees’ efforts to keep working during the pandemic.

The efforts are part of the Big Four firm’s efforts to retain employees, who have largely worked from home since the outbreak of the pandemic last year. Like many people around the world who have worried about travel since last year, many PwC employees didn’t take their vacation days, letting them build up in the hopes of taking them this year.

“Our people are the heartbeat of our organization, and their well-being is the most important thing for us to look out for,” wrote PwC U.S. chair and senior partner Tim Ryan in a LinkedIn blog post. “Because it is so important to take breaks, unplug, and experience new things (especially post-pandemic!), we will be giving $250 to employees each time they take a full week’s vacation for the next year, with the potential to continue this program into the future if we see wide adoption.”

The firm is also launching an initiative to discourage calls and meetings on Friday afternoons in the summer.

PwC plans to transition to a hybrid model of work starting in September while giving out bonuses. “This will allow us to continue to serve our clients while balancing remote work and preserving the elements of our peoples’ experience that they prefer,” said Ryan. “And as we safely open offices, we are doubling the funding for our ‘Real-Time Recognition’ (spot bonuses) pool so colleagues can say thank you with financial rewards to one another for caring for each other and living our values.”

In addition to offering digital skills training during the pandemic, PwC also plans to offer more training in diversity and inclusion, a cause that Ryan has championed as chair of the steering committee of a group called CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion. “We started with digital skills training and encouraged the majority adoption of a badging system, and our next step will be to offer a Diversity and Inclusion badge so we can continue to inspire our people to learn and foster a culture of belonging,” he wrote.