Sun to employees: Please take vacation time

Sun Microsystems is asking its US workers to take five unused vacation days before the end of the year as a cost saving move, Sun confirmed Thursday.

Employees on Sun's US payroll received a memo earlier this week from the human resources department urging them to take five days of paid vacation time before December 24, according to Regina Weigand, a spokeswoman for Sun in Europe.

"Sun saves significant costs when people take vacation. The company is obliged to set aside money for accrued vacation days," she said.

In the US, Weigand said, Sun employees are allowed to carry over all vacation days to the next year, while in Europe there is a limit.

This is the second time this year that Sun has asked employees to take a week's leave. The first was in July and was followed in early August by the announcement from the company that it would reduce its workforce by 300 through what it called a "redeployment program."

So far, Sun has avoided the layoffs announced by other hardware makers, including Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Compaq.