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City workers given four weeks extra holiday in growing war for talent

·2 min read
Hambro and Perks
Hambro and Perks

Hambro Perks has given staff almost four weeks of extra holiday to tackle pandemic burnout as finance firms race to pull in talent with fresh benefits.

Workers at the boutique investment firm, co-founded by the late finance heir Rupert Hambro and Dominic Perks, a former McKinsey consultant, will get two extra weeks leave for Christmas to tackle burnout after being handed a fortnight in August for the same reason.

Mr Perks said it was vital to give workers the extra days off "after the relentless 18 months we’ve all had".

He said: "We trialled an enforced two week holiday and office shutdown in August, and noticed how much more energised everyone was when they returned.

"So we will be doing the same again over Christmas and New year."

The firm is the latest City institution to offer dramatic new benefits as a result of the Covid crisis.

Klarna, the buy-now-pay-later giant, has also rejigged its policies. After allowing staff to continue working from home for most of the week, it is now saying that they can work from anywhere in the world for up to ten days a year.

Virgin Money, the challenger bank, has also increased the number of staff holiday days and told most workers that they can work from wherever they want.

As financiers at some firms clock in from the beach and others enjoy almost 20 days of extra holiday, rivals are racing to follow-suit by offering staff benefits that would have once been unheard of.

Atom Bank, which has 430 staff, last week moved all of its workers to a four-day week without cutting wages in an industry first.

The male-dominated banking sector has long been known for its brutal working hours, and the pandemic initially reignited concerns about burnout. A group of 13 Goldman Sachs analysts earlier this year begged the business to cap working weeks at 80 hours as "inhumane" expectations were leading to mental health issues.

Bank bosses are now using the pandemic to rethink their way of doing things in an attempt to tackle the problem and pull in talent from other highly paid industries.

Following an overhaul of City rules, Hambro Perks last week said that it was going to launch London's first special purpose acquisition vehicle, or Spac - a "blank cheque" company which will raise up to £150m on the stock market before deciding on a tech company to invest in.