Holidays & PTO

This page describes how holidays and PTO work, as well as details on how to properly submit and track your time off. Note that some benefits may only apply to full-time salaried employees - if you have any questions, you can always ask your manager.

Taking time off

When you take any time off, you should follow this process:

  • Let your manager and team know as soon as possible. (e.g., post a message on your team’s Slack channel)
  • Find someone to cover anything that needs covering while you’re out. (i.e., meetings, planned tasks, unfinished business, important Slack/email threads, anything where someone might be depending on you)
  • Mark an all-day “out of office” event in Google Calendar for the day(s) you’re taking off.

This process is the same for any days you take off, regardless of whether it’s a holiday or you just need a break.

Holidays

At Synura, we have team members with various employment classifications in many different countries around the world. We emulate GitLab’s “don’t ask, must tell” policy and encourage people to take the time off. It’s up to each teammate to choose what days will work best for them, but we generally encourage you to take your national holidays, in addition to some long weekends and vacations.

References that may be helpful:

Either way, it’s up to you to ensure that your responsibilities are covered, and your team knows that you’re out of the office.

Winter holiday week off

Starting on December 24th, Synura enjoys a company winter holiday week. We close our offices for the week so people can take this time to rest and celebrate the holidays, and focus on loved ones.

Please remember to update PTO by Roots and select Winter Holiday Week.

For Support during the holiday, please refer to the on-call schedule.

End-of-year celebration

The end of the year is a natural time for celebration and togetherness. For many companies, an “end-of-year party” is a time to be together with coworkers and to share the experience with significant others. We also want these qualities, but as an all-remote company, take a different approach.

We ask that each team member have a special celebratory dinner with their family or close friends, courtesy of Synura, and then share pictures and stories from the experience with us in the #celebrations Slack channel. We hope this will help each person enjoy the festive spirit with their loved ones, and for us all to get to know one another better through the stories.

How to take time off

You can take your time off whenever you want. However, please be responsible for when you take it and how you communicate it. Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Check with your manager to try to avoid being out around a critical milestone or at the same time that others on your team will be out
  2. Try to provide advance notice – a general guideline would be to share twice as many days in advance as you’d like to take off. e.g. two days’ notice is for one day off; two weeks in advance would be better if you want to take a full week.
    • Note that this does not apply to emergencies, and it is not a requirement. Sometimes fun things come up last minute that you want to do, but this guideline will help prevent leaving others in the lurch when you have some flexibility in scheduling.
  3. Team members who are with us through an agency should also follow that agency’s procedures in addition to ours.
  4. Being part of a global remote team means you need to be highly organized and a considerate team player. Each team has busy times so it is always a good idea to check with them to ensure there is adequate coverage in place.
  5. Engineers should ensure the following are in place before going on leave:
    • All tickets assigned to you are completed, verified, and closed
      • If there are pending tickets, discuss them with an engineer who can take them up while you are gone
    • There are no merge requests assigned to you that are not merged
    • If you are taking a longer leave, communicate with the team a few days before your leave

Absenteeism

Our time off policy is flexible but requires proactive communication. Any team member who takes 3 consecutive days without prior notification will be considered to have voluntarily resigned.

If someone is absent, the manager will make effort to contact the team member or someone listed as their emergency contact. Please share emergency contact info with people-ops, so that we know who to call in case of an unexpected absence.

Managers can find information on who to call in our emergency contact info sheet.

Communicating your time off

Once you’ve decided to take time off and your manager is aware, it should be communicated to the rest of the team.

  1. Mark the time as Out of office on your calendar.
    1. Select the Automatically decline new and existing meetings option so that your meeting status will show “declined”
  2. You should add the time off using PTO by Roots to Slack. Please use the following syntax which uses the ISO 8601 date notation in order to avoid confusion: OOO from YYYY-MM-DD to YYYY-MM-DD, please contact XXX for assistance.
  3. If you won’t check email at all, add an out-of-office response in your email settings with the start and end date of your time off so that people reaching out to you on email will be notified
  4. It may be useful to share your planned time off as a FYI on your team’s Slack channel(s), especially if you lead a team.
  5. Make sure your manager and team are aware of when you will be out.

PTO by Roots

PTO by Roots allows us to coordinate time off seamlessly with intuitive Slack commands.

Slack commands

  • /pto-roots ooo Create an OOO event.
  • /pto-roots me View your OOO dashboard to edit, add or remove OOO events.
  • /pto-roots whosout See upcoming OOO for everyone in the channel where this command is used.
  • /pto-roots @username Check if a particular person is OOO and if they are, see which of your co-workers are covering for them.
  • /pto-roots feedback This is your direct line to support. At any time, use this command to report bugs or share your thoughts on how the product can be improved or what’s working well.
  • /pto-roots help A top-level look at PTO by Roots items that you may need help with, and how to receive help.
  • /pto-roots settings This is where you modify your profile and calendar settings. This is also where you opt-in and out-put for reminders, including monthly messages prompting you to consider what PTO you may take this month.

Parental leave

Synura offers anyone (regardless of gender) who has been at Synura for six months up to 16 weeks of 100% paid time off during the first year of parenthood. This includes anyone who becomes a parent through childbirth or adoption. The paid time off is per birth or adoption event and may be used only within the first 12 months of the event.

We encourage parents to take the time they need. Synura team members will be encouraged to decide for themselves the appropriate amount of time to take and how to take it.

New parent leave

Synura gives new parents six weeks of paid leave. After six weeks, if you don’t feel ready to return yet, we’ll set up a quick call to discuss and work together to come up with a plan to help you return to work gradually or when you’re ready.

How to initiate Your parental leave

Some teams require more time to put a plan of action in place so we recommend communicating your plan to your manager at least 3 months before your leave starts. In the meantime, familiarize yourself with the steps below.

To initiate your parental leave, submit your time off by selecting the Parental Leave category in PTO by Roots at least 30 days before your leave starts. We understand that parental leave dates may change. You can edit your PTO by Roots at a later time if you need to adjust the dates of your parental leave. You must submit a tentative date at least 30 days in advance. Your manager will get notified after you submit your leave and will send you an e-mail within 48 hours confirming that they’ve been notified of your Parental Leave dates.

Please note, even though we have a “no ask, must tell” Paid Time Off Policy, your Team Head must be aware of your leave at least 30 days before your leave starts.

Planning Your parental leave dates

Your 16 weeks of parental leave starts on the first day that you take off. This day can be in advance of the day that the baby arrives. You don’t have to take your parental leave for one continuous period, we encourage you to plan and arrange your Parental Leave in a way that suits you and your family’s needs. You may split your Parental Leave dates as you see fit, so long as it is within the 12 months of the birth or adoption event.

If you don’t meet the initial requirements for paid leave, Synura payroll coverage begins once you meet the requirements. Until then, you will not receive pay. If for example, you are someone who qualifies after 6 months at Synura and then goes on leave at the start of your 120th day at Synura, you would not receive payment from Synura for the first 60 days. You would receive payment from Synura for up to 60 additional days taken within a year from the birth event.

You can change the dates of your parental leave via PTO by Roots. Your Team Head will receive a notification every time you edit your Parental Leave dates. Make sure your leave is under the Parental Leave category, otherwise your Team Head won’t get a notification.

Please note, if you are planning to change or extend your Parental Leave by using a different type of leave such as PTO, unpaid leave, or any local statutory leave, please send an e-mail to your Team Head.

Administration of parental leave requests

For Your Team Head:

  • PTO by Roots will notify Your Team Head of any upcoming parental leave.
  • Notify the team member that the parental leave request was received by sending a confirmation e-mail.
  • PTO by Roots will automatically update the status.
  • Check if the team member has confirmed their return via email. If not, send the Return to Work e-mail to the team member and manager.
  • Do a weekly audit of parental leave return dates. If a team member hasn’t sent an e-mail within 3 days of returning, send them the return to work e-mail, copying the manager in.
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