Career Advice Jun 13 2012

Goldman's Support of Marriage

By Julie Steinberg

With Europe melting down and layoffs piling up, the world of finance is a bleak place to be right now. Jobs are shaky, credit is scarce and banks are intent on cost cuts over the coming quarters.

For newlyweds at two bulge-bracket banks, however, there's one sunny perk amid the gloom: extra vacation time. Employees at Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse who are tying the knot can bank a whole extra week of vacation.

At Goldman, you're eligible for an additional week of vacation in the same year of your marriage, a policy that's been in place since 1989. Domestic partnerships were added to the plan afterward.

At Credit Suisse, any employee who's been with the bank for a year can get an extra week for their marriage or civil union. The one catch is the week needs to be used within two months of the marriage, so book those honeymoons early. The policy has been in place for over a decade and was extended to civil unions in 2005.

Book those honeymoons early or lose the perk

"It's a great benefit because it only affects a small percentage of employees every year, so companies can build an enormous amount of goodwill without having to spend a lot of money," said Carol Evans, president of Working Mother Media, a group that promotes work-life balance for mothers.

"It's the kind of perk that hits you at a time when you need it, just like parental leave," she added.

Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan don't have similiar policies, according to people familiar with the matter. Evans hasn't heard of many companies enacting this sort of policy, she said.

Goldman employees of all marital status can also roll over their vacation at Goldman from one year to the next. Managing directors typically get six weeks vacation, vice presidents four, and associates and analysts three, according to people familiar with the matter. If you want to carry over more than 15 unused vacation days into the next year, you'll need to get approval, though. Anything under is fair game.

At Goldman and Credit Suisse, employees should plan their vacations when they plan their weddings and take advantage of the extra days, Evans said. That way they won't forget -- or choose to opt out -- of days-off that are necessary to help recharge.

Write to Julie Steinberg at julies@fins.com




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