Ever wonder how many corporate higher ups would still be employed if they had to follow the policies they demand everyone else adhere to, even at a basic level such as taking an extended weekend off. One such policy is the infamous Sandwich leave policy.
What is The Sandwich Leave Policy?
As per the sandwich leave policy, if you take leave just before and after public holidays, your public holiday (which is a general holiday or a Saturday/Sunday) will be counted as part of your annual leaves.
How it works?
Suppose your company has weekly off on Sunday and the company has entitled you of 30 annual leaves per year. If you take 2 days off from work on Saturday and Monday as annual leaves, instead of deducting 2 leaves from your annual leave balance, the employer will deduct 3 leaves, as the Sunday has been Sandwiched.
Some companies have taken this policy to the next level. If you just take a leave on Monday, they add the Sunday to your annual leaves as well. Sound like a punishment? Well it actually is!
How was it widely adopted?
This policy was originally adopted for factory workers where overall productivity is highly dependent on man hours. If a higher than average number of workers take leave at the same time, overall productivity falls. Therefore, companies hire Factory Floor Managers who handle labor leaves.
So one day a lonely miserable Factory Floor Manager got job as Human Resourses/Administrative manager in the Head Office, and to justify his worthless existence to the management, he introduced this policy for ALL their employees.
Obviously the management never bothered. To them their employees were sheep, their office; a cattle farm, their cabins were pens to hold them. Their washrooms; a crying den. Anyway! Making the common man’s holidays an agony became a HIT among HR Managers.
Ever since, whenever the sun rises in the east, an unquestioning, senseless HR Manager adopts this policy and makes the employees miserable.
Why is it bad?
- You are fucking taking away your employee’s public holiday.
- This is not a policy, it’s a punishment for wanting to take holidays. “How dare you ask to not work, you piece of trash! Kneel before me every time you walk into my office.”
- A lot of people from one part of the country relocate to other parts for jobs. Imagine a guy from a small city, working in Karachi or lahore.
- For one, this guy is already away from his family and the value of leaves is far more important for him compared to any local employee. And unfortunately, the Sandwich Leave Policy affects him the most.
- He needs at least a week off if he wants to visit his family. Why? At least three days are wasted every time only in traveling and recovering from 18 hours of rowdy train/bus journey.
- If he is among the small lot that can afford plane tickets, he has to pay more because the ticket prices on weekends are always higher than on weekdays.
- Add to this the unavailability of airline/bus/train tickets on weekends due to excessive rush.
- His parents miss him and want to spend more time with his. Yearning parents wallow at their son to come home during the holidays, so that they could finally get him to meet their chosen daughter-in-law.
- Now imagine the situation on other public holidays like Eids, Ashura, National day. This brutal Sandwich leave policy means this guy can either go home a week before Eid, and start his long journey on the second day of Eid to be at work the next day.
- Or the other option for him is to travels one day before Eid to his home town (to spend the week after Eid at home). In this case, the poor guy reaches home on morning or Eid, and misses all the pre-festive events.
- Not to mention the peak ticket prices and unavailability of seats during these days. Touch ground and run back like he’s doing it for the Olympics!
Why would companies adopt this policy?
- The villainous HR/Admin manager is miserable in his own life and is adopting policies to torture others to feel his non-existent power.
- No employee ever questioned this policy. They keep adhering to this policy because people before them never questioned it too.
- Management never cared enough for their employees. Employees are given one long continuous rejection of being human.
- Management is so incompetent that it cannot differentiate between an office worker and factory labor.
If you are treating your employees like mindless slaves, they will either behave as such or leave. Knowledge of HR policies is never questioned therefore never retained.
- Management is discouraging leaves longer than one week at a time. But why? If you (the management) doesn’t want the employee to take an off for more than a week, you can simply stop them on case by case basis. Why adopt such a barbaric policy?
- Management is unable to see these problems because they are locals and don’t even know the problems out-of-city employees have to face due to this policy. Basically they’re blind and just entering their puberty.
- Management knows how brutal the policy is but they support the HR/Admin Manager because he is (somehow) saving them money with this policy
What needs to be done?
- Employees need to question this policy.
- Talk to some sensible person among the senior management and point out this policy. Share this article with them (Congratulations, if this article has been forwarded to you, someone in your company considers you a reasonable person)
- Negotiate this policy at the time of hiring.
- If this policy cannot be changed, ask for compensation in monetary terms (for extra money that you have to pay to travel on weekends) or extra casual leaves.
- Management needs to reassess the impact of this policy on employee morale. The purpose of casual leaves is that you want your employees to take rest and come back with more energy. This policy is actually doing the opposite.
- If the management cannot adopt this policy on a firm-wide basis, they can provide exceptions for out-of-city employees. This will help you retain talent and loyalty.
- The purpose of an HR Department is to maximize employee performance and well-being. Your job requires you to design and implement policies to achieve this. Please don’t be lazy.