Time Off Around the World

It's the day after Christmas: Are you reading this blog post from work or are you home for the holidays? How is your vacation time as compared to other workers from around the world?

Here's a graph from the Economist, based on the data compiled by consultancy group Mercer:

North Americans are more industrious than South Americans [...]. Asians work harder than Europeans. Among the feckless workers from the old continent, those in the troubled economies of Greece, Spain and Portugal have among the most generous holiday allowances.

What's the statutory minimum time off companies in the United States have to give its employees? None: the chart above showed a typical 15 days time off that most companies give its workers, but that's not required by law.

The Mercer Report - via The Dish

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While its true, that Germans have a law that requires at least 20 days of holiday, actually almost all Germans have 30 days holiday entitlement. This is defined in contracts (called Tarifvertrag), negotiated between unions and the employer associations.
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In France, if you work for a company that requires you to do overtime during the year, you receive compensation in vacation days. I knew a guy once who worked for a company that made software fro mobile phones and he had a full two months of vacation to take when summer came around.

AND no one was expected to do his job while he was away. The work just sat there and waited for him to get back.

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Wow, statistics and damned lies! This doesn't BEGIN to tell the story.

They've got to AT LEAST weight the average here by the Actual % of the population that's employed.

# Days of vaca. are meaningless if only 4 guys have jobs.

Also, other countries take holidays and office hours MUCH more seriously than we do.

1Ex:-Try getting anything in France on a holiday,

or going to a restaurant between the hours of 2:30 and 5:30,

even in the cities much less the country,

and you will be SOL.

-Now contrast that with our Convenience stores, or even NYC where something is always open.
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It'd be interesting to see stats on the number of paid days off employees actually use. My last two employers have made it very difficult to make use of the vacation days that are part of our compensation package. They'd much prefer that we cash them in and work on those days. When someone does manage to take a week off, we've had managers insist that they work on the adjacent weekends since the vacation days only cover the weekdays in-between. All of this is legal for exempt employees (exempt means that an industry group lobbied Congress to get their workers exempt from labor laws).
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