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Hush Holidays – What are they and how should employers deal with employees taking ‘hush holidays’?

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped the way we work and travel. With the rise of remote working, a new travel trend has emerged – the ‘hush holiday’.

This trend involves employees harnessing the ability to cite their remote working in locations other than their home – such as by a pool in a holiday location; without using annual leave entitlement.

Some see this as a win-win. Employees who take hush holidays often report feeling more motivated and energized, which in turn, increases their engagement and productivity. Another by product is an improvement in their mental well-being and an overall reduction in sickness absence.

As with everything, there are disadvantages. For example, technology failings which render employees incommunicado and urgent meetings requiring attendance with little prior notification. And in many instances, employers are unaware of the hush holiday until these disadvantages materialised!

As with any form of remote working, employers should make sure they have the correct arrangements in place. This includes ensuring that employees have access to the necessary technology and software to complete their work, as well as making sure that the company’s data is stored securely and that it complies with GDPR obligations. And this will require additional thought if an employee’s hush holiday results in a transfer of data outside the European Union.

Employers should provide employees with a clear policy on remote working, including guidelines on how to keep data safe and secure. Typically this includes instructions for using virtual private networks, two-factor authentication, and password. Access to reliable internet connectivity and suitable workspaces is a pre-requisite for all remote working. It’s, for this reason, policies may state that employees are not permitted to use general free Wi-Fi services or work in public areas.

Employers should also ensure that employees are aware of other responsibilities when working remotely, such as adhering to company policies and procedures, maintaining communication with managers and colleagues, tracking their work hours accurately and being able to get back for unexpected meetings. And it’s not just about remote working policies. Disciplinary policies should also be reviewed to ensure they cover breaches of those responsibilities.

Getting remote working right from the outset, when it is viable, allows employers to embrace this emerging holiday trend. At a time of low unemployment and skills shortages, employers may find this a great way of optimising their retention strategies and recruitment drives.

If you require any assistance with drafting policies for hybrid working or other policies within a handbook, feel free to get in touch with the Employment Law team on 0800 088 6004 or fill in our online form.

Jennie Jahina


Jennie Jahina


Jennie is a Partner and Head of the Employment team.  A member of the Employment Lawyers Association, Jennie has 21 years’ experience and is an accredited CEDR Mediator. She acts for private sector organisations ranging from SMEs to multi-national companies and public sector organisations.