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6 people from around the world share what it's like to have nationally mandated work vacation


Posted October 15, 2017 6:22 PM
6 people from around the world share what it's like to have nationally mandated work vacation

man relaxing vacation

Among 21 wealthy, developed nations, the United States is the only country with a federal government that doesn't guarantee workers paid-time off.

Instead, it's up to employers to give their workers vacation days.

The result has been that many people hardly take any time at all, either because they are committed to their job or they fear coming across as lazy.

To see what the US might be missing out on, Business Insider spoke with a handful of people who live in countries where the government guarantees time off. Here's what they said.

Sweden: 6 weeks off per year

How much time do you take?

In my role as a PR-consultant and advertising creative my mandatory vacation sums up to six weeks a year, with the possibility to add a seventh week instead of a pay raise.

How do you generally spend the time?

In terms of what I like to do [in] my free time, travel is the number one priority — city weekends, longer stays abroad. Or projects at home such as renovating the summer house.

Having the time off in longer stretches of time lets me relax and get an "outside" perspective of what I am doing. Where am I going with my career? Am I happy?

How does it feel knowing the time is guaranteed?

It makes me feel energized to be able to re-charge. It clearly makes my work-life balance better and my performance stronger.

Knowing it’s guaranteed also opens up the possibility for a bargain on flight tickets and hotel bookings – as I can do those long in advance.

Samuel Skwarski, PR/Creative, Volontaire



Denmark: 5 weeks off per year

How much time do you take?

Five weeks.

How do you generally spend the time?

When on vacation, I try not to stay too connected to work though it's commonplace to "check in." I love going abroad and I often attempt to scatter my vacations days across the year to have several, but shorter vacations; for example, going on an extended weekend abroad.

How does it feel knowing the time is guaranteed?

When going from being a student to entering the job market in a full-time position, five weeks mandatory vacation – as it is in Denmark –  surprisingly feels like not a lot. It's a trivial problem in an international context given that five weeks are still more than what is normal in most other countries.

— Daniel Borup Jakobsen, VP Marketing, Plecto



France: 6 weeks off per year

How much time do you take?

We earn 2.5 days per worked month, for a total of 30 days or six weeks for a full year of work with the same employer.

How do you generally spend the time?

We travel if we can, mostly within France — to visit family, friends — and sometimes abroad — for a weekend trip in Europe or longer holidays to visit new countries.

How does it feel knowing the time is guaranteed?

We consider paid vacations a part of our compensation as wages are lower in France than some other countries. They matter. Personally, I believe they are important because they improve our productivity: we are not exhausted all the time like in the US.

— Marie-Catherine Beuth, Managing Editor, Business Insider France



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Credit: Kaspars Grinvalds/Shutterstock

Reference: http://uk.businessinsider.com/what-its-like-to-have-nationally-mandated-work-vacation-2017-10

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