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Sun and HP to close

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Sun Microsystems will 'close' for a week beginning July 1, as part of a retrenchment plan. Employees will be asked to take mandatory leave, unpaid if they've already used up their holiday allocation.

According to CBS Marketwatch, the move applies to all of Sun's US staff, and may possibly include overseas staff too.

Hewlett Packard's policy is less austere, requiring staff to take six days of vacation between May and October. HP made a similar requirement in December. If staff have already used up their vacation allocation, they'll be paid to come in as normal. To do what, wonders Upside? Flick rubber bands across to the tiny cubicles of their absentee colleages, we guess, although the more daredevil may want to inch their partitions across to make more room: just remember to move them back, OK?

It's a more equitable way of weathering the Bush Recession Mark 2 than job layoffs, as it does without the anxiety and score settling that accompany redundancy programs, and we wonder why more employers don't do it.®

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