Ovo is offering flexible bank holidays for its 5,000-strong workforce, after a study commissioned by the company found that nearly a quarter (72%) of employees wanted this option.
The energy firm is now allowing staff to take the days off at a time of their choosing to give them more control of their annual leave, because it believes “ownership of time is essential to progressing inclusion and diversity within the workplace”.
The initiative enables staff to swap most bank holidays, except Christmas Day, New Year, and the Coronation of His Majesty The King, which remain fixed. It was launched as part of Ovo’s People Offer, giving employers more flexibility and choice as well as a range of environmentally friendly benefits.
Charlotte Eaton, chief people officer at Ovo, said: “At OVO we understand that fixed bank holidays don’t work for everyone. So, having listened to our people, as part of our new People Offer we introduced flexible bank holidays. Our community can choose to take their flexible bank holiday on a different day if they prefer – this might be to celebrate their own faith and beliefs, attend a special event, or to simply enjoy their annual leave when the sun is shining. We’ve aimed to make our offering as progressive as possible, putting our people first so they can make the choice that works for them and their families.”
Of the 1,012 UK employees surveyed by Ovo, more than half (51%) cited being able to attend special occasions such as weddings as their top reason for wanting bank holiday flex, while around a third (34%) desire the flexibility for religious and cultural events. Around three in 10 (31%) would use the option to save money for travel abroad.
The study further found that the late May spring bank holiday (May 29th) was the one that workers wanted to swap the most.
Meanwhile, more than half of respondents said their employer has scaled back on some flexible working policies, with almost three-quarters (74%) opposing the changes. This has had a negative impact on job satisfaction for two-thirds (66%) and motivation for nearly three in five (59%).
Also included in Ovo’s People Offer is unlimited compassionate leave, paid recharge leave after exceptional busy periods, moments that matter leave.