How does America compare when it comes to paid time off?

Published: Sunday, July 21 2013 11:16 p.m. MDT


With Pioneer Day just around the corner, many are probably thinking through holiday plans for this Wednesday — unless, of course, you are required to work, in which case you may be tired of turning down invitations to barbecues. But what can you do? There’s no mandate that requires employers to give you Pioneer Day off.

There are some countries, however, that do prescribe paid time off for workers each year.

Of 21 developed countries, the United States is the only one that does not mandate a set amount of paid vacation time, according to a recent study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

Ranging from Austria and Portugal’s 35 days of paid vacation and holidays to Japan's 10 paid vacation days, all other countries dwarf the United States when it comes to paid time off.

It is common practice for U.S. businesses to offer some vacation time and holidays, even though it is not required by law. Interestingly, Americans — a quarter of whom don’t receive any vacation timerarely use all of their vacation days, even if they have them. Aside from the harmful effect on your tan -or it's lack thereof-not taking vacations might have serious implications on your long term health

So if you find yourself sitting behind the cash register this Pioneer Day, just remember, Austria is beautiful this time of year.

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Incite Full
Layton, UT

hey if you work for the government you get a couple weeks worth of days off... though not with pay... Hooray Furlough! Thanks Obama for sequestration!

Kearns, UT

I wonder how much our quality of life would improve if all workers got paid days off and used them. I know that a lot of parents would wind up having more days they could spend quality time with their families. Don't we complain a lot on here that parents aren't spending enough time with their kids? Maybe a change in work and paid vacation days would help with that. Perhaps there could be some big incentive for companies to offer better vacation/time off benefits.

Iron Rod
Salt Lake City, UT

Could it be that the American worker works harder with longer hours and less compensation than many other countries in the world yet we are called upon to finance the roll of policeman in the world.

What is wrong with this picture? Perhaps other countries who are buying up our businesses should shoulder more responsibility with keeping the world safe?

Example we only receive 10% of our oil from the middle east yet we expend huge amounts of revenue to keep the shipping lanes open and the pumps producing. Why don't the countries who use the majority of the oil shoulder this cost and responsibility?

If they do not have the equipment they could pay our costs to do it. Why do we do it for free?

Kings Court
Alpine, UT

...and yet Ford built my trucks engine in Germany and the chassis in France. So much for outsourcing jobs to foreign countries because its cheaper. I think some of our corporations are just plain anti-American.

Salt Lake City, UT

Wow! What a terribly dishonest way to phrase something. Just because the government doesn't mandate something, automatically means Americans don't get any of that?!?! I guess because the government doesn't mandate that we eat food and drink water everyday , means Americans are the only ones on the world that get no food or drink?

Freeman Stevenson
In the land down under, UT


Where in the article does it say that Americans don't get any vacation at all (aside from the 23% who don't). "It is common practice for U.S. businesses to offer some vacation time and holidays, even though it is not required by law."

Cottonwood Heights, UT

One of these days our citizens are going to put two and two together and discover this country and our government is at odds with the working class. we work more hours with less vacation and when it comes to wealth accumulation, the net worth of the 50th percentile working family (based on annual income) in America is number 27th in the world, far less than these other countries cited in the article. But to our credit, our efficient and productive middle class has made it so we have a higher percentage of millionaires and billionaires than any other major country. So aren't we proud of ourselves.

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