Senior county staff get more vacation time

GUELPH – Senior managers with the County of Wellington will receive an additional week of vacation as part of an effort to find – and keep – quality staff members.

“In order to both remain competitive and maintain a recruitment and retention edge we are proposing several changes to our existing vacation entitlements,” states a staff report from county human resources director Andrea Lawson.

“Many potential candidates are inquiring at the interview stage about employee benefits and ‘perks’ with an emphasis being on vacation time. It is becoming more common for these candidates to negotiate additional vacation entitlements once an offer of employment has been made.”

Currently, the county’s CAO and department heads, who are all paid well over $100,000 per year, receive one additional week of vacation per year as recognition for being in the highest level of management at the County of Wellington.

Based on market surveys, the report recommends an increase to two additional weeks per year.

“Currently our senior managers do not receive any incentives or recognition for being in their leadership roles,” the report states.

“We are suggesting that we offer one additional week for this management pay band only. We are finding that we are consistently negotiating extra vacation time in this pay band.”

At the Nov. 29 Wellington County council meeting, councillor Chris White said, “It’s incredible with the growing population that you have so many challenges hiring folks for various reasons.

“Try and hire a CAO or a roads manager these days. It’s very competitive and very tough,” added White, who chairs the county’s administration, finance and human resources committee.

White said providing the additional vacation for 16 senior management positions would be “an incentive to keep those people and bring on new people.”

White said the county has already been impacted by the competition for top employees, noting, “We recently had some excellent staff poached” by other municipalities.

“And those are investments we can’t afford to lose.”

Council approved the committee’s recommendation to add the additional vacation time for senior managers.