Student debt relief in exchange for vacations? Unum employees aren't 100% on the policy

1 week ago by James Mattone in Trends

Unum Group ($NYSE:UNM), an insurance company based out of Chattanooga, Tennessee, made waves when it announced that employees who gave up paid vacation time would get up to $1,200 in student debt relief. It followed the announcement up by stating that its employees carry an average of $32,000 in student debt.

While being paid to give up paid time off — something that millennials usually don't take already according to studies — is worth a debate, data trends that we track bring up a new element:

Unum group isn't getting the best ratings on the employer-review website Glassdoor, and several anonymous reviews gives the impression that giving up PTO doesn't make them happy, lower debt or not.

On Glassdoor, Unum Group's ratings are consistently above the Health Insurers' industry average. However, across all metrics, its ratings are dipping closer to the industry average — which has remained somewhat steady — in recent months.

From September to today, Unum Group's overall Glassdoor rating has dropped a fifth of a star. The company also saw its Business Outlook, Recommendation Rating, and approval rating for its CEO Richard P Mckenny dip below the industry average.

Interestingly enough, for Compensation & Benefits, the category that the company's new debt relief for vacation days policy falls under, Unum Group has nearly a half point lead over the industry average, although the rating is at its 18-month low despite being steady.

These ratings are not due to a decrease in the number of ratings being counted, which could affect all ratings and give the wrong impression of a trend.

Diving deeper into specific reviews

Over the past few months, a few specific reviews on Glassdoor gave an idea of the employee experience at Unum Group.

Several employees, including one who identified as customer service, wrote anonymous reviews that complained of the workload at the company.

One joked that a "pro" for the company is "PTO (if you can get it)."

Another corporate employee said that "management openly states they expect at least a 50 hour week from salary claims department employees during all times of the year to maintain case load."

To be fair, there are also plenty of reviews that praise the company's PTO policy, including one that got about 3.5 weeks right off the back. But still, the review ended with a complaint about the "emotionally draining" work that comes with being a customer service representative, which is directly answering to (sometimes angry) insurees.

With the anonymous and verified pack of former and current employees writing reviews on Glassdoor about a hard work environment, long hours, and limited PTO to begin with, maybe the idea of giving up some much needed paid time off in exchange for an extra $1,200 a year on paying off student debt isn't the best idea.

James Mattone

James is a recent Boston University graduate who calls the world of esports and video games his home. As a young journalist, he has already covered two E3 expos a...

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