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Which Countries Offer the Most Paid Vacation?

The flag of Saudi Arabia, which offers a lot of paid vacation time.
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  • Last Modified Date: 13 August 2014
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Countries that give the most paid vacation time are primarily located in the European Union, and the highest ranking average vacation time in countries occurs in Finland, where workers receive about 30 days of vacation per year and also have nine paid holidays for each year. Other countries with generous, or some would say reasonable, vacation packages include France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland, and the Czech Republic. Countries outside of Europe that have quite a bit of vacation time include New Zealand, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, and India.

On average, most of these countries offer at least four weeks of paid vacation and may additionally offer several paid holiday days. These countries tend to have mandated rules regarding amount of vacation time workers are entitled to receive. Countries may have minimum vacation time offered and then like with some employers in the U.S., receive more paid leave with greater seniority. Certain types of jobs can also change vacation time. Seasonal work, like teaching in some countries, mean that vacations could be longer.

It’s important to note that full-time workers may only receive these benefits, and that part time employees might not accrue vacation or be entitled to the same amounts of time. In all countries, accrual of vacation time and certain exceptions mean rules are complicated. Each country needs its own research especially for those people looking to be employed in a specific country based on attractive paid vacation packages.

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Certain countries do not mandate any type of paid vacation as part of full time worker benefits. This is true in the US where approximately 25% of full time workers earn absolutely no paid vacation. Many companies do offer vacation time, but amount, way it is used, and for what purpose is up to the individual company to decide. On average, workers in the US have about 10-15 days vacation time per year, but this average does take into account those people who don’t have any time at all.

Some countries have buy back amounts. A few countries with significant paid vacation time, like Australia, allow employees to sell back some of their vacation time and receive pay for it. Most countries work on a system of awarding more time to senior workers, but what makes some countries unique is the amount of time given to beginning workers.

France and Finland, for instance, tend to mandate at least 5 weeks of time of paid vacation for any full time worker. Paid leave circumstances also exist for those who must take off a lot of time. French moms, for example, get very generous paid leave packages when they give birth.

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anon123099
Post 6

I too cannot believe what number four posted. They clearly never served. As a veteran and spouse of an active duty member you do get 30 days paid vacation every year, minimum. I say minimum because if you are sick for a day it doesn't come out of your leave.

If you move you get additional paid days for "house hunting", when you're discharged, you get additional "job hunting" paid days. You also can earn special liberty days (days off without using leave).

You get holidays off, and "stand down" or periods around the holidays where you only have to work a half day or not at all, don't use your leave, and still get paid. What I'm saying is that #4 clearly was not talking about the US Military.

anon120389
Post 5

You clearly have no idea what you're talking about with all of the time off you've counted for the men and women who truly serve this country and are speaking out of some misguided feelings. If you truly believe what you wrote, then join the military, anon92128.

anon106073
Post 4

The military does not really give you 30 days paid vacation a year. All federal employees except the military get paid every two weeks for a total of 26 pay days a year the military pays twice a month or 24 times a year. So since the military includes weekend days as leave time they are actually paying you for two vacation days a year.

anon106047
Post 3

I have a friend who is an officer in the US Army. While deployed overseas and even when he was here in the US getting his unit ready for deployment or attending to other duties, he works much more than 40 hours. It's not a 9-5 job. Much of the time it's more of a 24/7 duty.

The extended time off was used for visiting family and friends that he may not have seen for over a year at a time. His family moves about once every two years. So other time was taken off to move and establish new households.

His two boys have enjoyed and benefited from living, having friends, and going to school in different states as well as Europe. Fortunately the family has had an opportunity to travel and enjoy the local life and activities while at their postings and while between deployments. Not including the risk to his life and health he has earned his leave and is proud of his service.

subway11
Post 2

Anon92128- While I agree with you that the military receives generous amount of average paid vacation days, it often done so because of the extreme sacrifices that they take on to defend our country.

The level of stress that soldiers experience often requires them to take time off. Many suffer from post traumatic stress disorder, and some never fully recover from mental and physical aliments.

I feel in some respects we should offer members of the military even more time off than currently receive.

Although the United States does not offer mandatory paid vacation days, there is legislation in the works to provide a mandatory one week vacation for all full time employees.

This legislation is put forth by Alan Grayson, a Democrat from Florida, and is called the Paid Vacation Act of 2009. It is currently in committee and not ready to be voted on yet.

anon92128
Post 1

One entity has the most generous leave on the planet and it's absolutely incredible: the US military. They have 30 paid days/year; 10 federal holidays; three to five "training holidays"; 20 days "in-out" processing (every one to three years); unlimited sick leave or for medical/dental appointments (even for family members); 30 days "convalescent" leave post surgery; unlimited leave for jury duty; unlimited leave for "training"; can carry over four months' leave year to year; 90 days post maternity leave; unlimited leave preterm if needed; 10-30 days paternity leave; 1/2 work days for the two-week "Exodus" schedule around Christmas and New Years.

They also get one day pass for maxing the APFT, unlimited "reward day" passes given at supervisors' discretion, and earned "comp time" for hours worked over normal day. This adds up to a conservative average of 70 days off per year! Then after 20 years of this "work", you get to draw 50 percent of your pay the rest of your life (up to 75 percent for 30 years service) plus whatever "disability" percentage you are given (and every one gets some percentage), and that is tax free.

By the way, anyone who works is protecting this country and should be afforded at least half of what the military receives.

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