"Particularly in more masculine, alpha cultures, that's definitely a thing. At Inventium that is not an issue. People are really celebrated when they recognise that they're feeling tired or incredibly busy or not spending enough time with family."

Before the policy was introduced, Inventium's 15 staff were taking an average of 19 days per year. They now take an average of 27 days, or about five-and-a-half weeks. At the same time, average sick leave almost halved from 2.45 to 1.4 days per person, well below the Australian average of eight or nine.

Imber described that result as "almost unheard of in Australia".

"I get asked by a lot of people whether anyone has taken advantage of the policy, and the answer is no," she said. "That's because there's a high degree of trust and respect. It's been great for Inventium but I don't think it's for every business."

She said Inventium needed the policy due to the hectic nature of the work. "Typically consultants have a pretty hectic schedule, a lot of travel, fairly long hours," she said.

"Fundamentally I felt the way employment contracts were structured were pretty unfair. The hours we work are uncapped but leave is capped at four weeks. As a result of that imbalance we would have some consultants getting pretty worn out.

"I thought to even things up and bring more balance into my team's lives, we would not have a cap and instead have unlimited paid leave."

Imber argues unlimited leave could be considered in a lot of different industries. "Where it doesn't apply is where people get paid overtime, such as hospitality and retail," she said. "But in a lot of white-collar industries, people are paid for a 38-hour week."

Many workers hoard their annual leave, either with the intention of taking a big holiday, or to use as a buffer for when they change jobs. But as smartphones increasingly blur the line between work and home, Australians are working longer hours and getting "burnt out".

"I think a lot of people are simply exhausted," Imber said.