Why PaySpace introduced unlimited paid leave for staff

PaySpace’s Sandra Crous believes there are no winners when there are fixed paid leave days.

On 1 March, local cloud-based payroll and human capital management software solutions company PaySpace introduced a new flexible leave system that allows staff to take time off when they need to, without placing a limit on the number of leave days they can take, provided they have done all their duties.

Sandra Crous, the managing director at PaySpace, says the company experienced first-hand how the lines between work-life and home-life began to blur when the world was forced into a remote working model.

With everything else that’s happening on a global scale, as well as the personal challenges and changes people are facing, Sandra said it was a major priority for PaySpace to look after their staff and give them the flexibility to recharge or take personal time off, as and when they need to.

“We felt that a proactive and agile reaction to preventing burnout was more important than sticking to traditional policies that are no longer relevant in the world we operate in today. One of our core values focuses on customer and colleague success, and it is equally important for us to see our colleagues enjoy their jobs, know that they are valued, and to see them truly engaged.”

By introducing this policy, PaySpace is hoping to achieve well-rested and happy employees because they believe this is central to employee retention and overall levels of engagement at work.

Sandra said that with staff being responsible for their own work and handovers when they go on leave, there has already been an increase in collaboration, along with inter-department visibility and communication, with each department now knowing more about and better understanding what is happening in the rest of the business.

“We aim to create a working environment at PaySpace where our colleagues love to work and where the industry’s top talent wants to work. Ultimately, these factors will enable us to deliver unparalleled products and services to our customers.”

Sandra explained that they have had problems in the past with employees needing to take leave, but not having enough leave days or where their leave days were depleted.

She explained that in South Africa, the Basic Conditions of Employment Act prescribes a minimum of 15 days’ annual leave, 30 days’ sick leave over a three-year employment period, and three days’ family responsibility leave.

“This severely limits employees’ flexibility and their ability to take care of themselves and of their personal affairs. When really in a pinch, taking unpaid leave is often the only option employees are left with. The rigidity of traditional leave policies force employees to stretch themselves too thin in an effort to take care of their workload and their personal lives, and they often find themselves low on their list of priorities. Exchanging a fixed number of paid leave days for exhausted and preoccupied staff means there really are no winners.”