Mental load

I’m looking for a sick leave/holiday policy which incorporates reflections on “mental load”.

A concrete example: what if an employee does not manage to enjoy their holidays because of mental load caused by work-related issues/questions. Does the employee then have the opportunity or right to count these days as working days (or paid sick leave) instead?

My group/organisation focuses on climate justice issues. We are 12, part of a collective with a flat organizing structure. Our annual turnover is 300k-500k.

In our current policies, each member of the collective has the right to one paid holi-day for each 9 days worked (so 9 days working, 1 day holiday). The same applies to sick days, but we’re more flexible with those.

Hi Mari

I believe they would need to inform their line manager in line with your sickness notification policy of when they are taking sick days instead of annual leave. This cannot happen after the fact unless your policy allows them to.

I’m very interested in what folks have to say on this one, but my first thought is that there is a really big difference between being asked work-related questions and having stuff on your mind. The latter can be a big concern but I would suggest needs to be dealt with by supporting team members to manage stress and workload. On the other hand, if colleagues (or external contacts) are actually contacting someone when they are on leave then that is clearly working time.

A jokey discussion took place in the Small Charity CEOs facebook group recently, about claiming TOIL for when you dream about work. That’s obviously one extreme, but I think it highlights the difficulty of where to draw the line (fairly) if you start compensating people for spending some of their own time thinking about work.

Would the bigger solution be to normalise designating some work time for thinking and talking things through?

Unlimited PTO. I know, it sounds horrifying but statistics show it costs little to no more money. Most people don’t take advantage of it but creating clear guidelines if people do is what we did. It allows people to take breaks when their work load allows it. Our varying departments have different busy seasons and it made it unrealistic for some teams to use their time off before losing it. We are going to ratify unlimited PTO by June 30 so happy to give updates.