Libraryour peopleVeriff Rolls out Sabbaticals for its Teams Across the Globe

Veriff Rolls out Sabbaticals for its Teams Across the Globe

We at Veriff believe that to live a fulfilling and impactful life, our team members could benefit from longer breaks every once in a while. This is why all Veriff employees whose tenure is longer than three years in the company can now enjoy six weeks of fully paid time off from work after each 3-year anniversary. This six weeks is on top of the regular time-off and the seven extra health days that Veriff provides. 

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Ucha Vekua
February 11, 2022
Our People

In today's business world, a sabbatical is simply a longer voluntary break away from work that is granted by the employer for a set amount of time and it is usually fully paid. After the break, employees will return to their regular job. Research shows that employees who take sabbatical leaves experience decreased stress and increased well-being overall. Clearly, such programs have a positive impact on employees' growth and happiness.

We chatted with our Head of Learning and Employee Experience, Piret Saag, about Veriff's newly launched Sabbatical Program and the mission behind it.

Tell us about the Sabbatical Program. I guess the first question would be, why?

We believe that in order to live a fulfilling and impactful life, our employees could benefit from longer breaks every once in a while. Our Sabbatical Program allows every Veriff employee whose tenure is longer than three years in the company to take six weeks of fully paid time away from work. 

This is a way for us to say ‘thank you’ for the time that Veriffians have put into helping build this company. Also, one of our values at Veriff is “We have each other’s backs” and this is one way to chip in here. 

Why after three years?

Three years is a solid commitment in a startup or a scale-up world and we’ve seen from our people’s experience, it often marks a time in one's Veriff career when a fresh perspective or shifting gears would become handy. 

Our employees, who have been with Veriff for three years, have seen it all — great times, more challenging periods, and have contributed to the company which has grown from a startup to scaleup, and now a unicorn! They are our very valuable team members, and we would like to encourage them to switch-off fully, recharge, and come back well-rested and with new perspectives.

Who is eligible for the Sabbatical Program at Veriff?

All Veriff employees that have been with the company for more than three years are eligible for our Sabbatical Program with the conditions set out in the policy. 

This program consists of six weeks, and it must be taken as consecutive 42 days, and it should be taken before the employee’s sixth anniversary in the company. This means that Veriffians have three years from the date of eligibility to complete their Sabbatical. 

One of the requirements is also that employees should be in good standing to be eligible for this perk. The Sabbatical dates must be requested well in advance, and there should be a clear coverage plan during the time away.  

What is the larger mission behind this and does an employee need a reason for taking their sabbatical? 

We want to give our employees a chance to step back from their role at Veriff and focus on their personal enrichment. On the other hand, we want to promote new opportunities for professional development, both for them and their colleagues. 

Some people might use this time for self-development, spend more time with family, volunteer at a non-profit, work on a 10% project 100% of the time with no team expectations, travel, or just enjoy a daily routine unencumbered by work-related demands. We want employees to choose the path that will be most individually restorative. 

Some people might rethink their career goals during their time off and come back with fresh ideas and new energy, which will definitely benefit the company in the long run. This also gives an excellent opportunity to their colleagues to take over new roles and test out different responsibility areas.

For example, when a team lead takes a sabbatical, people who fill in for them during their leave have a chance to take on some stretch tasks, enabling them to explore more about their career growth wishes and opportunities. 

Veriff is a global company with teams in Europe and the United States. How common are sabbaticals in those regions and are there any major differences?

It seems that Sabbatical Programs are getting more and more popular worldwide. 

First off, it was a well-known opportunity in the academic world when a professor at a university was given time off to take a semester or two of leave to further their education, write, teach at a university abroad, or conduct research. But now it is becoming more of a common practice for companies to offer their tenured employees longer time off to recharge. Both in the U.S. and Europe.

What we’ve learned, however, is that it is not at all common at companies around our size (around 500 employees or less). There are a few who offer sabbaticals after 4 or 5 years of employment. And there are others that don't have an official program but may approve on a case-by-case basis when they receive requests. 

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