Extra days off: A simple way to maximize your employees' satisfaction and commitment


Estimated budget: 15,60€ - 35€ (average per each extra day off)

Setting up an “extra days off scheme” refers to allowing your employees take more days off that the ones foreseen within your national work legislation.

Employees appreciate this benefit more in countries where there are fewer days off or in countries where fewer national holidays fall on business days. Some companies offer extra time off on employees’ birthdays, as an example. Giving loyal employees who have remained with the company for an extended period of time more days off is a very attractive form of motivation.

Why set up and implement the extra days off scheme?


  • According to relevant surveys, it is becoming more and more important for employees to achieve balance in the different aspects of their lives, especially when it comes to work-life balance.
  • Moreover, the 2017 State of the American Workplace Report from Gallup showed that 53% of employees say it is “very important” to have a job that allows them to achieve work-life balance and personal well-being.
  • A relevant research from Glassdoor shows that almost 80% of employees would choose additional benefits such as extra days off over salary increases. According to the same research, 90% of millennials declare that they prefer similar benefits to salary raises.

A research compiled by Sage Business Researcher showed that companies offering extra days off or unlimited vacation found that it actually encouraged employees to take less time off.

How to successfully set up and implement the extra days off scheme?

You can follow these steps:

  1. With the help of your accounting department / accountant:
  • define the minimum days off that each employee must take according to your national legislation.
  • define the specific cost of each extra day off for each one of your employees and develop a relevant annual financial plan, according your financial capability.
  1. Conduct an internal survey among your employees, asking them what is the ideal number of extra days off for them.
  2. Based on the findings from the survey and, of course, on your financial capability, define a range of extra days off eligible for each employee. Don’t leave this choice open for your employees as it is more effective for both sides to define such a range / specific number of extra days off.
  3. Establish an award system through which you will offer these extra days off to e.g. the best employee of the month of to the employees that achieve their goals, etc.
  4. Overall, describe in every possible detail the procedure for taking the extra days off in order to avoid misunderstandings and confusion.
  5. Use a relevant accounting software in order to monitor and record the extra days off for each employee.

Human resources

The support of your accounting department / external accountant will be of high importance while setting up the extra days off scheme and defining some key-aspects of this scheme.

Estimated budget

The cost of each extra day off for each one of your employees varies and depends of the salary amount you are paying each employee. But, as a reference:

the cost of one extra day off in Greece when the employee receives the basic minimum salary (according to the Greek national legislation) amounts to an average of 15,60€ – 35€.

the cost of one extra day off in Italy when the employee receives the basic minimum salary (according to the Italian national legislation) amounts to an average of 20€- 35€.

Other resources

An accounting software for monitoring and recording the extra days off per employee will be of further and significant support for you.

Expected impact

Example(s) of prior application

Company name: Papastratos

Location: Aspropyrgos, Greece
Number of employees: 800

How the WPI was implemented?

Papastratos is the largest tobacco products company in Greece. Throughout its 85-year history, Papastratos had been an active supporter of the Greek economy and society. The people of Papastratos are critical to the success of the company. Through constant investment in employees’ career development, they provide competitive salaries and benefits (including extra days off), international career opportunities, and a modern working environment. They also received two golden awards for employees’ development plans from the HR Awards.

Results obtained

Each employee of the company is entitled to 18 extra days of vacation during the year. The CEO of the company supports that after the implementation of the extra days off the company is more competitive than before.


Other examples:

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