The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (July 2018)
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Annual leave is paid time off work granted by employers to employees to be used for whatever the employee wishes. Depending on the employer's policies, differing number of days may be offered, and the employee may be required to give a certain amount of advance notice, may have to coordinate with the employer to be sure that staffing is adequately covered during the employee's absence, and other requirements may have to be met. The vast majority of countries today mandate a minimum amount of paid annual leave by law.
Among the larger countries, China requires at least five days' paid annual leave and India requires one day of paid leave for every 20 days worked. The United States mandates no minimum paid leave, treating it as a perk rather than a right.
|Region||Mandated paid vacation days|
|Argentina||10 – 20|
|Brazil||20 – 30|
|Denmark||25 – 30|
|Finland||20 – 25|
|Germany||20 – 30|
|Hong Kong||start from 0 in the 1st year, then 7-14|
|Japan||10 – 20|
|Mexico||6 – 24|
|Poland||20 – 26|
|Portugal||22 – 25|
|Singapore||7 – 14|
|South Africa||15 – 21|
|South Korea||11 – 15|
|Sweden||25 – 30|
|Note: Paid vacation excludes paid public holidays.|
Most countries have labour laws that mandate employers give a certain number of paid time-off days per year to workers. Canada requires at least two weeks (and at least three weeks for most workers in Saskatchewan); in the European Union the countries can set freely the minimum, but it has to be at least equivalent to 4 working weeks.
Full-time employees in Australia are entitled to at least 20 annual leave days a year.
In New Zealand, 20 days' paid leave is also the normal minimum in addition to the 11 paid statutory holidays (e.g. Christmas, New Year's Day). However, many employers offer 5 or more weeks, especially in the public sector.
Argentina has different labour laws for public employment and private employment. Public employees have between a minimum of 21 days paid to 45 days paid for vacations (including holidays and weekends). Private employees have between a minimum of 14 paid days to 28 paid days (including holidays and weekends). In both cases are always relying on the years of service. The more years the worker has worked the more days of paid vacation they will have.
UK employers offer 20 days per annum of annual leave with a further 8 public holidays, these are referred to as Bank Holidays.
US federal law does not require employers to grant any vacation or holidays, and about 25 percent of all employees receive no paid vacation time or paid holidays. However, some jurisdictions within the US, including the states of Maine and Nevada, require paid time-off days.
Consecutive holidays refers to holidays that occur in a group without working days in between. In the late 1990s, the Japanese government passed a law that increased the likelihood of consecutive holidays by moving holidays from fixed days to a relative position in a month, such as the second Monday.
In New Zealand, consecutive paid holidays occur for Christmas/Boxing Day, New Year's Eve/New Year's Day, and Good Friday/Easter Monday, the last of which straddle a weekend. However, these are among 11 'statutory paid holidays' that are additional to 'paid annual leave'.
- Administrative leave
- Holidays with Pay Convention (Revised), 1970
- List of minimum annual leave by country
- Long service leave
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- Johanson, Mark. "Life in a no-vacation nation". www.bbc.com. Retrieved 15 January 2022.
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- Trabajo, Procuraduría Federal de la Defensa del. "¡Entérate! Al cumplir un año de servicios tu patrón te deberá otorgar vacaciones". gob.mx.
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- Ghosheh 2013.
- Ray, Sanes & Schmitt 2013, p. 10.
- "COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 93/104/EC". Official Journal of the European Communities. L 307: 20. 23 November 1993.
- Ray & Schmitt 2007, pp. 1–3, 8.
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- "NON-STANDARD EMPLOYMENT AROUND THE WORLD" (PDF).
- Ray & Schmitt 2007, p. 1.
- Douglas, Genevieve (12 July 2019). "Paid Leave 'for Any Reason' Laws Embraced by States, Localities". Bloomberg Law. Retrieved 2 October 2021.
- "Employee Benefits in Small Private Industry Establishments, 1996" (Press release). Washington: US Bureau of Labor Statistics. 15 June 1998. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
- Ghosheh, Naj (2013). Working Conditions Laws Report 2012: A Global Review (PDF). Geneva: International Labour Organization. ISBN 978-92-2-127516-9.
- Ray, Rebecca; Schmitt, John (2007). No-Vacation Nation (PDF). Washington: Center for Economic and Policy Research. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
- Ray, Rebecca; Sanes, Milla; Schmitt, John (2013). No-Vacation Nation Revisited (PDF). Washington: Center for Economic and Policy Research. Retrieved 14 July 2018.