As summer approaches, many of us have vacation on our minds. We’re ready to get out of the office and head towards a tropical location with our family or friends. Though the thought of getting away is exciting, it’s also stressful to think about all the work (and possibly pay) we’re leaving behind.
Did you know that the United States is the only advanced economy that doesn’t require employers to provide paid vacation time? In comparison, countries in the European Union require companies to give employees a minimum of four weeks per year off. Many countries also provide paid time off for national and regional holidays. Because of this, it’s no surprise that the United States has fewer vacation days than most other countries around the world.
To see how various countries’ vacation allotment compared, we looked at data from the OECD, Center for Economic and Policy Research, and International Labor Organization. We also examined the labor laws of individual countries.
We liberally included public holidays in the total count for each country, which are denoted by the light blue portion of each bar. The paid leave section in dark blue represents the minimum paid leave employees start with. We’ve denoted which countries increase allotted vacation days based on tenure with one asterisk, and which holidays aren’t mandated by law with two asterisks.
Share this Image On Your Site
In many countries, like Sweden, it is common to get public holidays off even if not mandated by law. However this is not always the case. In countries like China, it is less common to get all public holidays off. In Hong Kong, employees get holidays off, but it’s not required that these holidays are paid.
And just because people are given vacation days, it doesn’t mean they take them. For example, in 2013 one in six Japanese workers didn’t take any vacation, and less than half of workers took their full vacation.
Though vacation days may vary based on the region of the country employees work in (or on other factors, such as their job tenure), this infographic will give you a feel for the approximate vacation days in each country. Hands down, employees in France and Brazil are the luckiest, with 41 vacation days per year!