Holiday Policy

In putting together the holiday policy, we have some guiding principles. These are:

  • Clear – the policy should be easy to understand and operate within. You should know how much time you can take off per year, and how much time your peers have to take off.
  • Generous – we want the policy to be generous. We want it to attract new talent to the company, reward current employees, and go beyond the statutory minimum in many of the countries in which we operate. Part of this is being flexible so you don’t feel restricted.
  • Fair – we want the policy to be fair and consistent across the company. This means ensuring that the spread of time off is distributed evenly across individuals, and that the differential between the people taking the highest amount of holiday and the lowest is minimised.
  • Supportive – we want you to be able to take enough holiday across the year so that you can recuperate, are well rested, get some down time, and that you avoid overwork and burnout.
  • Flexible – we want to have some level of flexibility so that in some years you may take more than the maximum, but that this evens out over a period of 3-4 years.

Holiday Policy

  • Every human is entitled to a maximum of 35 days per year
  • The maximum includes public holiday .
  • Every human is expected to take a minimum of 20 days per year . This does not affect your statutory minimum.
  • You should have taken 15 days by 30th September. This is pro rata so if you start on 1st July it would be 7.5 days. There is some flexibility here so discuss with your manager if this isn’t possible but you should be clear about why.
  • By 31st December, you should have all of your holiday except 7 days booked or taken.
  • You can roll over up to 7 days from the previous holiday year.
  • You can borrow up to 7 days from the next holiday year.
  • Our holiday policy is pro rata. That means that the full entitlement is for a whole year – if you work part-time or start or finish your employment part way through the year your your holiday will be calculated on the number of days that you work.

Booking holiday

The holiday year runs from 1st April – 31st March.

Taking time off will affect those that you are working with and it may be that your day-to-day responsibilities need handing over to someone else. This is particularly the case for humans working on client projects, so it’s important to discuss your plans with your team.

The process for taking time off is as follows:

  • You should discuss holidays regularly with your manager, at least every quarter. And where possible you should be planning in advance.
  • The notice period for taking leave is at least twice as long as the amount of leave (e.g. 2 days for one day, four weeks for two weeks). It helps with company planning if you are able to give more notice so if you do have something planned please let the company know as soon as possible.
  • Discuss your holiday plans with your team and PM. You should consider:
    • if anyone else on your team is taking time off at the same time
    • if the time off request coincides with a launch or other significant milestone
  • Once the leave has been discussed and agreed with your team, enter the time off as type: Paid time off into Bob.
  • Set out of office in Google Calendar. This ensures that you decline your meetings and that no one can set meetings up with you (you may also want to turn off your notifications in Slack and set your status to on holiday).
  • Check with your allocations rep to make sure that Forecast is updated with your time off.

We will try not to refuse any proposed time off, although due to work pressures it may occasionally be necessary to do this. We will try our best to give you as much notice as possible. By UK law the notice period for refusal should be at least double the length of the holiday.

If you have more than 7 days unbooked at the start of December, we will ask you to book them off across December and Q4 (January – March).

If we are concerned that you aren’t taking enough holiday we may ask you to take holiday. We will plan this with you to ensure it is suitable for the project you are working on.

Part-time staff and new starters

  • For part-time staff, your holiday allowance and allocation is pro-rata based on the number of hours that you work. So, for example, if you work 50% of the full-time working week at Human Made, you can expect 17.5 days holiday and your optional roll-over is 3.5 days.
  • For new starters, your holiday allowance and allowance for that year will be calculated from your start date. So, for example if you work full-time hours and start on 1st September, you would have 7 months in that holiday year, giving you 20.5 days for that holiday year, increasing to 35 days from 1st April. Your optional roll-over will be 4 days for that holiday year, increasing to 7 from 1st April. Roll-over is calculated at approximately 0.5 days per month.


Are there any special exceptions to this policy?

If you have a one-off life event that requires extended time off such as a honeymoon, moving house, or other major trip, you may be able to take additional holiday time. This should include at least some of your holiday allowance. This shouldn’t happen more than once every few years. If you want to take this time it should be discussed with your manager and agreed with your team. For these exceptional circumstances you should take at least 50% of the days from your holiday allowance, and Human Made will cover the rest. For any days off taken in addition to your holiday days, you should enter these into Bob as Special Exception. You need to have been at Human Made for one year to take advantage of this.

What if I need to take time off to look after my kids or a family member?

For ad hoc and one-off instances, you can just book this as compassionate leave and don’t need to deduct anything from your holiday policy. However, if this happens with a high level of frequency, and you are persistently taking days off to deal with family issues (e.g. days off every week or few weeks over a period of months) then this will be considered under our “Managing long-term or persistent absence” which is part of our Sickness and Return to Work policy.

Why does the maximum include public holiday?

We are a remote company that operates across the world and the amount of public, national, and religious holidays differ from country to country. We want the holiday policy to be fair across the company, so decided to make a generous maximum which includes public holiday. This means that all humans get the same amount of time off per year. Also, it means that we aren’t forcing people to take specific days off (Christmas, bank holidays, etc). If you want, you can work on your country’s public holiday and save those days for when they are more convenient for you.

What is lieu time and what should I take it for?

When you work on a day that you wouldn’t normally be working (usually a weekend), you can take a day off in lieu. Examples might include if you are working over a weekend for a launch, or if you are travelling for a business trip. If you are taking a full or half day as lieu time you should track this in Bob

If you work in an evening, or have an extended day, our flexible working policy means that you can start working late or finish early the next day. You do not need to track this.

How do I book and track holidays?

When you book holiday you should enter it into Bob. All holiday should be entered as holiday (not public holiday). As each department functions differently, the process by which holidays and their impact are discussed will differ and should be documented in each department’s handbook.

What if the statutory minimum in my country of residence exceeds the Human Made maximum?

As a remote company, we want our policies to be as equal as possible across all Human Made employees. This ensures that everyone at the company is being treated equitably and fairly. We are legally compliant, and in excess of, the statutory minimum in the countries in which we are incorporated. In the case of contractors, even if the statutory minimum in your country exceeds the HM maximum, we ask that you respect the Human Made policy. While your number of holidays may be a day or two lower, when taken into account with Human Made’s other benefits (including generous maternity/paternity, paid sick leave, flexible working, and the ability to work when and where you want) we feel that the entire package reflects our desire to be both generous and fair.

When does the holiday year start?

On 1st April. You can roll over up to 7 days from the previous year on this date. You can borrow up to 7 days from the next year.

I’m Australian, don’t all of my holidays roll-over?

Australian legislation states that employees are able to roll over all of their untaken holiday. Therefore, Australians can roll over all of their holiday. However, we may ask you to take holiday to prevent too much holiday accruing. These are written into your employment contract.