A recent study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research found that the U.S. is the only country out of 21 economically advanced nations to not have mandated paid vacation time. Though many businesses voluntarily offer paid vacation time to employees, they found that about one in four U.S. workers has none. Other findings:
• European countries require private companies to give at least 20 days of paid vacation per year, with legal requirements of 25 and even 30 or more days in some countries.
• Australia and New Zealand both require employers to grant at least 20 vacation days per year. Canada and Japan mandate at least 10 paid days off.
• Most of the rest of the world’s rich countries offer at least six paid holidays per year.
• The average worker in the private sector in the U.S. receives only about 10 days of paid vacation and about six paid holidays per year – less than the minimum legal standard set in the rest of world’s rich economies excluding Japan.
• Several foreign countries offer additional time off for younger and older workers, shift workers and those engaged in community service, including jury duty.
• Five countries even mandate employers pay vacationing workers a small premium above their standard pay in order to help pay for vacation-related expenses.