Home > Uncategorized > How many days can you take off work ?

How many days can you take off work ?

Are you surprised ? Why is that ? Please share under comments.

I had always heard, and knew from personal anecdotes, that Europeans had more vacation time, however to see it in black and white was startling. In the United States, where there is no mandatory vacation entitlement, some figures show one out of 10 full-time employees and six out of 10 part-time employees get no vacation, even if they are in jobs with paid benefits.(Los Angeles times as cited on www.prospect.org)

I can only assume that access to vacation time in the Philippines is heavily influenced by one’s class, as tales are rampant about extremely poor working conditions for Filipinos such as:

  • A female worker dying in a garment factory producing GAP and Benetton clothing in 1997.
  • A Philippine government admission that they have been unable to prevent organizations from charging illegal placement fees to workers in 1999.

  • A 2003 article that claims garment workers were drugged for three days to stay awake.

(From http://www.hartford-hwp.com, World History Archives)




(Answer to tweet question: Which 3 countries have the lowest entitlement of paid time off? sent on July 13.)

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Gabriella
    July 13, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    This is an interesting question and what will be equally interesting is to see which way the vacation pendulum will swing. Will global competition force countries who have traditionally offered more vacation days to scale back? Or will countries embrace the proven health benefits of taking time off and move towards increasing vacation days?

    Despite public policy, many leading companies in Canada offer more than the minimum vacation requirement (at least for select employee groups). I don’t doubt we’ll see more of this trend with changing workforce demographics and a greater emphasis on creating ‘life friendly’ workplaces as a means of gaining a competitive edge.

    • July 14, 2010 at 4:39 pm

      Thanks. Gabriella.

      See the posted comment about buying vacation days. What a great way to let employees decide how they want to balance their work and home life.

      • Gabriella
        July 15, 2010 at 11:41 am

        I love the idea to allow employees to buy vacation days! What a great way to help both employees and employers balance personal and business needs! This isn’t actually the first time I heard of this option and it seems to be growing in popularity.

        For those of you employed by a company that offers this option, I would be curious to learn how this works in practicality. Is the policy an ‘easy sell’, do all employees embrace the benefit of purchasing vacation time? And is such a benefit available at ‘manager’s discretion’, or are all employees equally able to purchase vacation days?

  2. S.J.D.
    July 14, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    I think it is incredible that the US, which considers itself to be a business leader, is so behind in vacation entitlement. Burnt out employees dont help anyone.

    I work for a company now (Canada) that allows its employees to buy up to 10 additional days of vacation a year – that is in addition to the 4 weeks they give their employees. The result? Happy, motivated employees who have long tenures and reduced corporate costs of employee turnover and training. It’s time other companies were equally enlightened.

    • July 14, 2010 at 4:41 pm

      Interesting-were the benefits provided including vacation one of the factors you considered when joining that organization ?

  3. Lizabeth P.
    July 14, 2010 at 11:49 pm

    I was generally aware of the fact that many European countries traditionally offer 4-6 weeks of vacation for all employees. It is interesting to read that many wonder whether this entitlement will be reduced in order (theoretically) to keep pace globally. I never thought of that! I always thought “when are we going to ‘catch up’ to those European countries.”
    I’d love to read more about the option to purchase extra vacation days. I’ve read about how many people would happily negotiate a reduced annual salary in favour of an additional week or two of vacation, but I’ve never known anyone who had successfully done this.

  4. Michelle Gohlan
    July 15, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    Hi Lisa and All,

    Thought I would add to a Dubai piece of string to this email thread, as the statistics is pretty interesting! Dubai falls into the Group 1 category. As per the Federal Law, the annual leave entitlement for any employee who has completed 1 year of service is 30 days. Public Holidays are 10 days, so that totals to 40 days. 90% of the workforce are expatriates, so this vacation entitlement is more a necessity rather than a luxury, as employees just want to go ‘home’ to spend time with family/relatives/friends.

    At a more junior level, employees accumulate their leave to about 45-60 days and fly once every two years back home.

    On the downside though, a very large population of the workforce still work 6 days a week, with barely 1 day off in a week, the employee is very often burnt-out by the time they avail of their vacation time.

    However, with absolutely no tax on one’s income (zero income tax), there is a trend to work through your annual leave and earn the cash instead!

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