U.S. only advanced economy with no guaranteed paid vacation

May 26, 2013 at 9:54 PM
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WASHINGTON, May 26 (UPI) -- The United States is the only country among advanced economies that does not require employers to provide paid vacation time, a non-profit group says.

A report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington reviewed data from a range of national and international sources on the legal requirements for paid vacations and paid holidays in 21 rich countries -- 16 European countries, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and the United States.

The group found 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.

In addition, most of the rest of the world's rich countries offer at least six paid holidays per year. Since the United States requires no paid vacation or paid holidays almost one in four Americans -- 23 percent -- don't get any.

The average worker in the private sector in the United States receives only about 10 days of paid vacation and about six paid holidays per year, which is less than the minimum legal standard set in the rest of world's rich economies excluding Japan, which guarantees only 10 paid vacation days and requires no paid holidays.

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, the report said.

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