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A Duvet day is a type of employment benefit that makes it possible for employees to take a day off with pay without giving the prior notice that is normally required for requesting vacation time. In many instances, the extension of a limited number of Duvet days per calendar year is documented in the employee contract, with the benefit being considered part of the overall benefits package afforded to the employee. Somewhat common in the United Kingdom as well as the United States, the Duvet day is usually different from a personal day in that personal days may or may not be granted with pay.
A Duvet day is only one of several different types of paid days that employees may claim, based on the terms of their employment. Sick leave is often a paid benefit, allowing employees to take time off when ill or when in need of some type of procedure that will require hospitalization and a recuperative period before returning to work. Employees also normally accrue vacation days that are set aside specifically for use when the employee wishes to go on a trip or otherwise have a longer block of time off from work for recreational purposes. Unlike sick days that may require some type of documentation to claim or vacation days that have to be scheduled in advance, a Duvet day can normally be taken at the discretion of the employee, with no advance notice to the employer or the need to justify the reasons for taking the day off.
It is not unusual for employers to include Duvet day benefits as part of employee benefit packages extended to executives and other corporate officers. In some cases, upper-level managers may also be extended this type of benefit. As long as there are not employment laws that would preclude the issuance of this type of benefit, companies are free to provide Duvet day benefits to any employees they desire, as long as all employees at the same level or grade have access to the benefit.
While taking a Duvet day is often a great way to get some additional rest after a trying time on the job or after a business trip, it is normally wise to make judicious use of those days. The intended purpose is to allow the employee an opportunity to have a day now and then to rest from the cares of the workplace and come back refreshed and ready to take up his or her responsibilities once again. Since there is usually a limit on how many of these days can be taken during the course of the calendar year, spacing them out and choosing to use them on days that will not create undue hardship for work colleagues is recommended.