As a career HR executive, I agree with the post that “unlimited” time off is bad HR practice, masquerading as an employee-friendly policy.
It’s also a clever accounting dodge. The Financial Accounting & Standards Board Practice (FAS43-Accounting for Compensated Absences):
“requires an employer to accrue a liability for employees’ rights to receive compensation for future absences when certain conditions are met. For example, this Statement requires a liability to be accrued for vacation benefits that employees have earned but have not yet taken; however, it generally does not require a liability to be accrued for future sick pay benefits, holidays, and similar compensated absences until employees are actually absent.”
No vacation benefits — no accrual required. Nice way to keep to a comapany’s balance sheet clean with no benefit to the workforce.