Annual leave

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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. It is considered a benefit for the employees.

Statutory Vacation[edit]

Political Economy Paid Vacation
(five-day workweek)
Austria 25
Denmark 25
France 25
Sweden 25
Finland 20
Germany 20
Italy 20
Netherlands 20
Canada 10
Japan 10
United States 0
Note: Paid vacation excludes paid public holidays.[1]

Most countries around the world have labor laws that mandate employers give a certain number of paid time-off days per year to workers. Nearly all Canadian provinces require at least two weeks; in the European Union the countries can set freely the minimum, but it has to be at least 20 days (not including national holidays). Full-time employment in Australia requires twenty annual leave days a year. US law does not require employers to grant any vacation or holidays, and about 25% of all employees receive no paid vacation time or paid holidays.[2]

According to the Bureau of labor statistics in the United States, the average paid holidays for full-time employees in small private establishments in 1996 was 7.6 days.[3] Members of the U.S. Armed Services earn 30 vacation days a year, not including national holidays. Although the law does not mandate vacation time, many employers nonetheless offer paid vacation, typically around 10 work days, to attract employees.[4] Under US federal law, employers usually must compensate terminated employees for accrued but unused vacation time. Additionally, many American employers provide paid days off for national holidays, such as Christmas, New Years, Independence Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Thanksgiving.

Countries (such as the Italy and Denmark) or particular companies may mandate summer holidays in specific periods.

Consecutive holidays[edit]

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.

See also[edit]