Time off work is super important for maintaining a healthy work/life balance. At Camunda we encourage managers & leaders to set an example by taking time off when needed and ensuring their direct & indirect reports do the same. Returning to work with a fresh mind and recharged batteries enables you to do your best work. A tired mind can lead to burn out.
For this reason, you have flexible time off at Camunda. FTO is in addition to (1) your locally recognised public holidays and (2) your required statutory vacation for your country / agreed contractual vacation (whichever is the larger of the two). FTO gives you the ability to take additional vacation days so long as business continuity is maintained. More information on this can be found in the section below - “A Camundi guide to FTO”.
In practice, this means you don’t have to ask for permission when planning a vacation. However, you should over-communicate and inform your manager and peers to make sure that you and your team's responsibilities are covered while you are on FTO.
We have a flexible working environment and want our employees to lean into taking ownership & having a manager of one mentality when considering taking FTO. However if there are too many people out of the office at the same time, it can negatively impact the business and therefore Camunda expects employees & teams to plan along with their manager, especially during holiday seasons.
Over-communication and planning are crucial when scheduling your time-off.
You can use your flexible time off for anything you like, including resting, taking a break from work, taking care of yourself, taking a vacation, volunteering in your local community, focusing on further education etc.
FTO is when you will be away from your desk for 4 or more hours eg taking a half day. You do not need to use your flexible time off to do things such as household chores, personal errands, going to a doctor's appointment, going to the gym, taking a nap, or helping a loved one e.g. anything that takes less than 4 hours / a half day. What's important is planning and communication with your team and manager. If you have an urgent or high-priority task that you can't get done, let your team or manager know so that you can coordinate how that task will get done.
In many countries, there are statutory requirements for paid time off. To remain compliant, and also to ensure that you are taking sufficient time off work for you, everyone at Camunda is strongly recommended to take at least 30 days FTO per year*. If you manage people, make sure to check on this as well.
*If your contractual obligation states more than 30 days per year, we encourage you to at least take your contractual minimum.
In addition to Flexible Time Off, each region also has public holidays, which are defined in bob. You are not required or expected to work on a public holiday*. In fact, we highly encourage you to take your public holidays off work. If you need to take time off on another day, then use your flexible time off to do that. We always encourage taking more time off, not less.
It's most likely that everyone in the same jurisdiction will take the same public holiday off. Please be sure to coordinate with your team to ensure proper coverage during your time off, if coverage is required.
Each region has public holidays, which are defined in bob according to https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/. Please visit this website to get an overview of public holidays for your region.
- Select your country.
- In the drop down menu select "official holidays".
Note: If a local public holiday is not listed on the above website or on your calendar in bob, please request the day off as "Public Holiday" in bob. This may be the case for specific regional holidays. (This also applies for Areas who have dedicated "Election Days" to enable People to vote.)
*For roles that have on-call / Customer Support responsibilities, if you cannot take the public holiday on the date in which it falls, please be sure to take a day in lieu if you are unable to take the full public holiday off.
Can I observe public holidays from another jurisdiction/country?
You should follow the public holidays as dictated by your location on bob.
If you live in a country with public holidays determined by local jurisdiction, we encourage you to take the public holidays associated with your address jurisdiction. Should you want to observe a public holiday that is outside of your jurisdiction (in addition to local ones), you can still take those days off using our flexible time off policy.
A Camundi guide to FTO
As we all work in a remote environment across 25+ countries & in numerous time zones, it can sometimes be difficult to know when and how to plan time off. Here is some advice and guidance on how this can be done in an easy and collaborative way.
- We have a "just tell" flexible time off guidance. This means that:
- You do not need to ask permission to take time off unless you want to have more than 21 consecutive calendar days (including weekends and public holidays) off. The 21-day “just tell” limit is per vacation, not per year.
- If your planned leave exceeds the 21 calendar days (including weekends and holidays), please make sure to reach out to your Manager & People Business Partner for a special request.
- What we care about are your results, not how long you work. While you don't need to ask approval for time off, it shouldn’t be at the expense of business getting done. You are required to coordinate with your team before booking your time off, especially during popular or official holidays, so that you can ensure business continuity of your responsibilities. Camunda requires adequate coverage to ensure business continuity i.e. avoidance of situations where all/most of the team is taking time off at the same time. Having a manager of one mindset will help you to personally determine when may be the right/wrong time to take FTO.
- In order to aid & develop an overall understanding of the “just tell” guidance & associated culture change, your manager will be able to veto your vacation submission should they feel that your submission will impact business continuity, for example if you are scheduled to host a customer training session, are due to be available for on call or if you book popular time off in advance of a team conversation.
- A veto can mean a veto of "dates requested" not in principle "time off" and it should require a manager to find alternative dates with their report rather than have the ability to out-and-out cancel the request.
- A veto will be an exception, not the rule. We would hope that employees show individual accountability & empowerment when submitting time off.
- If a manager does veto your submission they should provide valid reasoning, similar to if they were to decline your request in the past policy.
- When taking time off make sure your manager is aware of your absence. Informing your manager can be done following the steps on how to record your time off below. Giving your manager and team a heads up early helps them prioritize work and meet business goals and deadlines.
- It can be helpful to take longer breaks to re-energize. If this is helpful to you, we strongly recommend taking at least two consecutive weeks of time off per year.
- We don't frown on people taking time off, but rather encourage people to take care of themselves and others by having some time away.
- In addition, we encourage all employees to take time off for holidays they observe. Camunda embraces asynchronous communications, so calls can be recorded and watched later. No one should ever be expected to attend calls on days they are not working or on official public holidays. For a listing of official holidays by country, please see the predefined holidays in your bob time off calendar.
- Not taking vacation can be viewed as a weakness and people shouldn't boast about it. The company must be able to go for long periods without you. We don't want to lose you permanently by burning yourself out by not taking regular vacations. We care and encourage you to take the time off that you need. Ensuring your documentation in the handbook is up to date enables your team to help out whilst you’re on leave, additionally it fosters our asynchronous working environment.
- You don't need to worry about taking time off to go to the gym, voting, take a nap, go grocery shopping, do household chores, help someone, taking care of a loved one, etc. If you have urgent tasks, but something comes up or takes longer than expected, just ensure the rest of the team knows and someone can pick up the tasks (assuming you're able to communicate).
- Vacation must be submitted reasonably upfront, a good rule of thumb would be to give as much notice to your time off in relation to the length of time you wish to take off, for example if you take 2 days off, you would give 2 days notice. This is merely guidance and not an exact science, if it works for your team to provide less notice without impacting business continuity, thats fine.
- Mary Thengvall "I encourage my team to think through their time off for the coming quarter (whether travel for conferences/events or holidays) as an exercise at the beginning of OKR planning each quarter. This allows us to plan for an appropriate workload for the quarter."
- While Camunda values this flexible approach to time off, it's important to emphasise that this approach is based on trust and adherence to our values. This premise of this policy works as a two way street. Some things that you should think of when booking time off are:
- At a macro level, you should think of:
- Me (you)
- My team
- What are your personal business responsibilities for the time that you wish to take off?
- Do I need to be available for customer interaction?
- Am I scheduled to be on-call?
- Do I have a project deadline?
- Who else is off on my team?
- Is my team equipped in my absence?
- Is my documentation up to date?
- Is my team supported during my time off?
- At a macro level, you should think of:
- FTO is not meant to structurally alter your weekly working hours over a longer period of time (e.g. several months or even years). If such arrangements are necessary for your personal situation, please discuss them with your manager and People Business Partner.
- For more details on how FTO is displayed in bob, please review this handbook page.
Recording time off
When to do it?
Please record your time off for half days or longer (half day is usually 4 hours or more in one day).
As we work asynchronously, there is no need to record if you are planning to step away from your desk for an hour or two, but it is important that you update Slack and your calendar to reflect that you are not available at that time.
You can submit your time off as far in advance into the future as you like. There is no limit on submitting your time off ahead of time and you can change/update it at any time. We encourage you to submit your time off as soon as possible to create early awareness with your manager and team.
How to do it?
Over-communicating your time off enables a positive FTO experience for both yourself & Camunda. It's important to communicate your time off on the following systems:
- Check out this guide on the steps required to submit time off.
- Automatic reply: Set up and auto reply with the dates that you will be OOO and who to contact in your absence.
- Update your slack to status to show OOO, mention the dates & who to contact in your absence (this could be your manager or a team channel). Asking a channel is more efficient if available.
- PEO Portal (If your are hired via a PEO).
Please note: Use bob as the single source of truth and make sure you update the Remote / Velocity system accordingly to align with your local requirements. If you have any questions, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
A core principle of this policy is to ensure that employees are taking adequate time off. We strongly recommend that you take at least 30 days of vacation per year.
On a quarterly basis the people team will send an email from the people operations team alias that will encourage you to book & plan for vacation. In parallel with this, the people team will be running a report from bob to check employees' vacation balances & planned vacations. If we note any concerns we will work with the PBP team and your manager to develop an understanding of what help you may require.
What do we consider a concern?
Our aim is for team members to take at least 30 days. Should we see that after 6-9 months into the year that:
- The employee has booked/planned less than 20 days off. We will encourage the manager to have a conversation with them about planning some time off.
- The employee has booked/planned between 20-30 days. We will send an email reminder of our general guidance on at least 30 days being considered a healthy number of days leave.
- The employee has booked/planned over 30 days and business continuity is maintained. No action taken.
Taking time off is important and we will be actively encouraging you to take time off throughout the year. We hope that this encouragement will result in limited vacation carryover. In the circumstances that carryover will arise we will be adopting a “use it or lose it” approach where it is statutorily applicable.
To understand what will happen to current accrued vacation, please refer to FAQ #5 in the FAQ section below.
Statutory Holiday Requirements
New employees will be entitled to at least 20 vacation days. Contracts signed before this policy is shared are likely to indicate more, because we had a different (limited) FTO policy until 2021. These days will accrue from your start date. In general, employees must take their annual vacation days during the calendar year, otherwise it is forfeited. However, unused vacation days can be carried forward until the 31st of March of the next calendar year if the employees was unable to take the vacation due to operational or personal reasons.
Employees are entitled to at least 28 vacation days, this is broken down by 20 days standard annual leave plus 8 public holidays. These days will accrue from your start date. It is important for UK employees to utilise time off for public holidays as the total amount of annual leave is accrued here inclusive of public holidays. Under normal circumstances, there is no carryover for unused vacation days.
The U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require payment for time not worked, such as vacations, sick leave or federal or other holidays.
Employees annual leave entitlement depends on how many years of service they have completed with camunda. Employees' years of service begins from the day they start work with Camunda. Details can be found here.
Remote.com & Velocity Global will be responsible for vacation carry over & compliance. On Camunda’s side we will be actively encouraging you to take at least 30 days vacation per year or your contractual statutory obligation, whichever is the higher of the two.
|Country||Flexible Time Off Minimum|
GMBH employees hired through 2021
United Kingdom Legacy
UK employees hired through 2021.
FTO & Sick Leave
Sick leave is not covered by the policy and must always be communicated as sick leave to your Manager / the People Team.
General guidance on sick leave can be found here.
FTO & Jury Duty (Inc only)
Jury Duty does not fall under the FTO policy because it is a civic requirement for all eligible citizens.
FTO & Unreasonable Absence from Work
Every organization has a need for rules and regulations to emphasize what is normally acceptable behavior in a company. Camunda's Disciplinary Procedure explains examples of misconduct and potential actions that may be taken. Guidelines can be found here.
FTO & Times of Hardship
We understand that life is complex and life events like bereavement and family illness can be exceptionally challenging times for our Camundi & we want to be here to support you.
If you do find yourself going through a qualifying event, we would be happy to support you with 3 consecutive weeks off (15 working days) or if you would prefer to work but reduce your working week you may use the same allowance of 15 working days to do so - as an example, working a 4 day work week for 15 weeks.
Following this time off period we would be happy to explore statutory leaves rights, both paid & unpaid. If your statutory entitlement is more than our offering we will abide by that statutory offering.
When a case arises where you need to take a leave of absence from the organization under this policy, please follow this process:
- Discuss the event and leave request with your manager as soon as possible.
- If you are not able to inform them, a member of your family can report this to your manager by email on your behalf. They must state their relationship to you in the communications.
- We operate on the Manager of One principle. We trust you to make the right decisions, but you must let your manager know your preference of the following:
- 3 working weeks (15 work days) of consecutive FTO.
- You wish to continue to work, but would like to reduce your working days per week. You may use the 15 days aforementioned to do this. A fixed end date to this agreement and anticipated schedule must be agreed with your manager.
- For both options: Following the 15 days, we advise that you look at statutory options for the country through which you are employed if you need additional time off. Please contact your governing body for assistance.
You will continue to have full access to IT systems during the period of which you choose to use your 15 days of FTO.
In line with our InfoSec policy, after 60 days of absence accounts will be suspended unless there is a valid reason not to do so. This request (and possible exception) must be documented in an IT support ticket.
You will also continue to have full access to your Camunda benefits during the period of which you choose to use your 15 days of FTO.
Note: If you then go on to take more time off then VSOP/VSIP vesting will pause after the use of the 15 days FTO.
Part time employees
If you work part time our encouragement of 30 days per year will be divided by your % hours worked per week. As an example, an employee that works 100% is encouraged to take 30 days per year, however, if you work 60% you will be encouraged to take 18 days per year as this is 60% of 30.
Employees that started during the calendar year
If you started at the at any point during the calendar year eg you were at Camunda for the commencement for the new year your can prorate our recommendation of 30 days for the amount of months left in the calendar year. As an example if you started on May 1st that means there is 8 months left in the year inc May, 30/12 = 2.5 days X 8 months = 20 days. This a general guidance and does not mean that you cannot take more than the prorated recommendation. We are simply providing this information so that folks have an understanding of our minimum recommendation from a pro rated perspective. If you pro rated contract entitlement is more than our recommendation you should take at least that amount - this amount can be found under FTO in bob.
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