It’s the middle of August and the optimal time when thousands of people are flocking to the beach, the lake house, or maybe splurging on a trip to Mexico, the Caribbean or Europe for that much needed vacation.
While it’s surely nice to have that week-long break from the work doldrums, many in America could feel a bit gipped that out of the 52 weeks in a year, most employees only get one measly week off – especially when many Americans don’t even get paid for that time off. And looking at the paid-time off that the rest of the world gets, Americans have every right to feel a little cheated.
According to data compiled by Mercer's Worldwide Benefit And Employment Guidelines and the Center for Economic and Policy Research, some countries around the world legally require up to 40 paid days off a year. In the U.S., that number is zero – although we do get President’s Day and nine other national holidays off from work...sometimes.
Of the 64 countries examined in the data compiled by Thrillist, the U.S. was the only country that did not require by law employers to give their workers paid leave. On the flipside, Brazil gives its workers 30 paid days off plus 11 national holidays for a whopping total of 41 days off each year.
Bolivians also have a pretty cushy vacation schedule thanks to the 36 days off each year, when counting paid time off and national holidays.
The region of the world that has the most paid time off was Europe, with France and the United Kingdom leading the way with 30 and 28 days of paid leave, respectively.
To rub salt in the wounds of U.S. workers, even employees in China, Vietnam and Pakistan, which have been highly criticized for operating a number of sweatshops, get more paid time off than in the U.S. – somewhere between 10 and 14.
For salaried employees in the U.S. who do get vacation time, a report by the U.S. Travel Association found that four in 10 American workers allow some of their paid vacation days to go unused and expire. This may be blamed by a workplace culture where 15 percent of senior managers said they view employees who take all of their vacation days as “less dedicated.”
So it looks like things won’t be changing for overworked employees in the U.S. anytime soon. Now get back to work.