France’s famous ‘rentrée’ has come to all of Europe – the return from our holidays and the return to school. The end of the hottest part of summer sees wage slaves as well as free-lancers return to their desks and workshops. I don’t want to throw salt in anyone’s wounds – but how does the amount of paid holidays compare worldwide?
The data is available; the OECD’s analysis of the labour markets of its 36 member states provides a reliable basis (‘OECD Employment Outlook 2021’). The USA figures on the list with a rather unique big fat zero, as there is no legal right to holidays there. On average, however, an employer there gives their staff up to two weeks of holidays a year. For the Japanese it remains a point of honour to let five days, on average, lapse, of the ten that they’re granted.
Employees in Iceland are the holiday record holders – they get 39 days a year off. 24 of them are ‘genuine’ holidays, augmented by 15 public holidays. In Denmark and Germany the figure stands at 30 days, with the Swedes not far behind at 27.5 days. In the United Kingdom the legal stipulation provides for 20 days of holidays, but the actual total duration is 25 days on average. Don’t despair – wherever your country is ranked, your next holiday is certainly coming to you.
Have a good rentrée!