McNicholas is on to a winner with its holiday trading scheme. When the Hertfordshire-based engineering firm carried out its annual survey, it found buying and selling leave was the most popular benefit.
Lindsay Blackman, former HR director at the firm, says: “Staff are positive about the [holiday trading] scheme and wish to keep it. It’s helped us attract and retain good people.” Three years ago, the company launched a flexible benefits scheme and included the option to buy or sell up to five days leave per year.
In the construction business, work comes in peaks and troughs, so holiday arrangements need to be flexible. “We let employees carry over five days’ leave into the next year and some then cash these back in through flex,” says Blackman.
Its online flexible benefits system also calculates exactly how much a day’s holiday is worth to each person. “Our online system works it out for the individual and gives them dummy payslips. [It] then sends the info to payroll,” she adds.