Is “Hangover Leave” The Latest Job Perk?

The war for talent, the Great Resignation, and the challenge of compensating staff in inflationary times have some employers considering outlandish new perks.

“Hangover leave”’ is the new job perk that workers would most like to see employers start offering, according to a new poll. Employees would also welcome benefits such as “breakup leave” (compassionate leave when a romantic relationship ends) and “houseplant bereavement leave” (which speaks for itself), finds a recent survey of 1,230 Americans conducted by YouGov for Trusaic, a provider of equal pay compliance software and consulting.

It seems the war for talent, the “Great Resignation” and the challenge of compensating staff in the face of inflation mean that employers are now offering ever more lavish benefits, in a kind of perks arms race.

“Some employers already offer ‘pawternity leave’ (paid time off to bond with a new pet) and pet bereavement leave,” said Matt Gotchy, Trusaic’s Executive VP of Marketing.

job perks
(Photo: Adobe Stock by Nichizhenova Elena)

But “houseplant bereavement leave?” Seriously?

“It may only be a matter of time,” commented Gotchy.

Trusaic’s poll revealed that some 13 million Americans (5%; rising to 8% for those aged 18-29) would welcome a day to mourn their deceased Madagascar dragon tree.

While these outlandish job perks may be one way to attract and retain talent in such competitive times, employer emphasis on fair pay and pay equity could be even more effective, according to Gotchy.

Regardless, “paid celebration recovery leave“ — otherwise known as “hangover leave” — tops America’s wish-list of new “fantasy” job perks, with 23% (equivalent to 59 million Americans) of poll respondents backing the idea. This paid day off would happen after a wedding, bachelor or bachelorette party, college graduation party, landmark birthday party, or celebration of any similarly important rite of passage.

Other unusual job perks employees are looking for include:

Breakup leave: Breakups are never easy. As proof, 17% of all respondents and roughly 44 million Americans chose “breakup leave” as a desired job perk for employers to begin offering.

job perks
(Photo: Adobe Stock by Jacob Lund)

Social media detox days: It’s no secret that the internet has become divisive. Naturally, folks are looking to unplug and recover from the stimulation overload that is social media. Roughly 12% of respondents, representing 31 million individuals, chose “social media detox days” as a job perk that they would like to see from their employers.

Leave for heartsick sports fans: From baseball to basketball and football, die-hard fans know the pain is real when their team doesn’t live up to their expectations. Some 9% of respondents opted for this perk, equivalent to 23 million Americans.

Learn more about fantasy job perks and benefits in the infographic below.

job perks


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