cba
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Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:36 pm

I've always found this debate to be interesting.

Of all industrialized nations, it's not a little known fact that Americans work the longest and take the least time off. However, we have some of the lowest worker productivity statistics of the industrialized world. Countless research and studies have proved that a work force that gets more time off is happier, healthier, and ultimately more economically productive.

So my question is, why don't we as Americans take more vacation?
 
FlyPNS1
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:50 pm



Quoting Cba (Thread starter):
However, we have some of the lowest worker productivity statistics of the industrialized world.

Actually, we have some of the highest productivity in the world.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/09/03/business/main3228735.shtml

As for why we don't take more vacation, it's largely because most people don't get much vacation. The average American only earns about 10-15 days of paid vacation per year and there are a significant number of Americans (mostly in low wage jobs) that earn no vacation at all.

Here's some numbers from the World Tourism Organization for annual days of paid vacation:

Italy 42 days
France 37 days
Germany 35 days
Brazil 34 days
United Kingdom 28 days
Canada 26 days
Korea 25 days
Japan 25 days
U.S. 13 days
 
PPVRA
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:53 pm

Maybe they are happier at work:

Are Americans Really Abject Workaholics?
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Goldenshield
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:12 pm



Quoting PPVRA (Reply 2):
Maybe they are happier at work:

It's sad, but true for me. I got bumped off of two flights today trying to go somewhere. After the 2nd bump, I relented, went home, and asked work to call me if they need me, and they did. So here I am, at work.
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cba
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:15 pm



Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 1):
As for why we don't take more vacation, it's largely because most people don't get much vacation. The average American only earns about 10-15 days of paid vacation per year and there are a significant number of Americans (mostly in low wage jobs) that earn no vacation at all.

Here's some numbers from the World Tourism Organization for annual days of paid vacation:

Italy 42 days
France 37 days
Germany 35 days
Brazil 34 days
United Kingdom 28 days
Canada 26 days
Korea 25 days
Japan 25 days
U.S. 13 days

You're correct; the fact that Americans earn significantly less vacation is a large part of the problem. This statistic stems from the fact that we seem to value time off much less than other nations.

The 35 hour work week and 5 weeks of paid vacation is a step too far in the other direction, however 3 weeks of vacation, as opposed to the 13 days on average we get doesn't seem like too much.
 
Sabena332
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:19 pm



Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 1):
Here's some numbers from the World Tourism Organization for annual days of paid vacation:

Italy 42 days
France 37 days
Germany 35 days
Brazil 34 days
United Kingdom 28 days
Canada 26 days
Korea 25 days
Japan 25 days
U.S. 13 days

Is this true, Americans only get 13 days of paid vacation? I can't believe that!  Wow!

In Germany it is usually 30 days (and not 35 as listed above). Personally I have 30 days/year and additionally one so called "AZV" day per month, makes 42 days like the Italians have. Big grin

Patrick
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Tugger
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:21 pm



Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 1):
Here's some numbers from the World Tourism Organization for annual days of paid vacation:
Italy 42 days
France 37 days
Germany 35 days
Brazil 34 days
United Kingdom 28 days
Canada 26 days
Korea 25 days
Japan 25 days
U.S. 13 days

What are the numbers for China and India?

Tugg
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srbmod
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:23 pm



Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 1):
As for why we don't take more vacation, it's largely because most people don't get much vacation. The average American only earns about 10-15 days of paid vacation per year and there are a significant number of Americans (mostly in low wage jobs) that earn no vacation at all.

I get 10 vacation days a year and I try to use as few of them as possible by taking long weekends (Thursday or Friday through Monday.), and cash out as many of them as I can at the end of the year (I set aside that money for one of my long weekends.). I could take longer vacations, but being a route driver, I really don't have anyone that can effectively and efficiently cover my routes (I learned this the hard way a few years back when our sales manager at the time covered my route for three days while I took a long weekend off. It took me a month to get all of the accounts he worked straightened out. After that, I decided to bust my hump before a trip and have the sales manager handle as few of my accounts as possible.).

Even if I had more than 10 days a year, I'd probably still use no more than 5 to 7 of them unless my employer required me to take them in certain increments (I've had several jobs where you had to take them in five day blocks.).

My grandfather when he retired, had nearly four months of vacation and sick days banked and his retirement did not become official until all of those days were used up. His last day on the job was in December, his official retirement date was in March.
 
jcs17
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:23 pm

I think it's just one of those things in American business that for whatever reason, has never changed. However, as our businesses become more multi-national, I think we will slowly see more American QOL bastions broached.

If I ever get one of my companies off paper and into existence will offer four weeks of vacation and a 9-4 schedule. A slightly shortened work day tends to make workers a lot more happy and productive (as opposed to wasting hours around the watercooler or on the internet).
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Goldenshield
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:28 pm



Quoting JCS17 (Reply 9):
A slightly shortened work day tends to make workers a lot more happy and productive (as opposed to wasting hours around the watercooler or on the internet).

But what about those whose job is to test water coolers and scour the web?  duck 
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A333TS
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:28 pm



Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 1):
Here's some numbers from the World Tourism Organization for annual days of paid vacation:

Italy 42 days
France 37 days
Germany 35 days
Brazil 34 days
United Kingdom 28 days
Canada 26 days
Korea 25 days
Japan 25 days
U.S. 13 days

I personally don't know anybody (non of the people that I have met) that have 26 days of paid vacation in Canada. (I get 2 weeks which is 10 working days)


A333TS
 
sbworcs
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:34 pm

I get 27 days plus 8 Bank Holidays in the UK.
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ClassicLover
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:39 pm

In Ireland you get anything from 20-30.

My last job was 20 for my level, then increased to 23. Higher levels were 25. They also introduced long service leave at 1 extra day per 2 years service. Previously you got 5 days at 10 years service, but with most people not staying that long (as there has been a historical change - no longer "job for life") they changed it for the better imho. Annual leave was capped at 30 days.

In Australia, I always had 20 days.

This of course is not including all the usual public holidays (Easter, Christmas, New Year, and about 4-5 other days thrown in).

I couldn't deal with less than 20 - with 20, I'd take a week off every 3 months. Nowadays I'll shove 10 days together with public holidays to take just over 2 weeks to go to Australia to see my family and use the others as convenient.
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cba
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:44 pm



Quoting JCS17 (Reply 9):
If I ever get one of my companies off paper and into existence will offer four weeks of vacation and a 9-4 schedule. A slightly shortened work day tends to make workers a lot more happy and productive (as opposed to wasting hours around the watercooler or on the internet).

 checkmark 

I couldn't agree more. We should switch to task-based work schedules as opposed to strict hours in as many jobs as possible. If anything, we're wasting resources by keeping someone in the office an extra hour (and their lights and computer on) or two per day if they've finished everything that they can do that day.

I realize that this wouldn't work everywhere, but many jobs could be shifted to this model.
 
Ken777
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:52 pm

I have to admit that the time I spent in Australia was some of the best working years I had. Not only was there a month off, but there was also "holiday loading". And more national holidays.

In terms of performance, I don't really believe that workers in the US are any more productive on an individual level than the Australians. Maybe fewer health issues, certainly a better quality of life in the work/family balance areas.

On the other side of the coin, working for myself provided BOTH the need to work longer days many, many times AND the ability to take time off when available without looking at the calendar. That's why, after getting my little company going, I was able to take my time in overseas travel - going earlier to avoid travel related delays and returning slower in order to avoid jet lag.
 
IH8BY
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Mon Jan 11, 2010 11:07 pm



Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 10):
But what about those whose job is to test water coolers and scour the web?

Do they waste their days surreptitiously playing around on Excel and going to meetings? Do they amass huge backlogs of Facebook profiles to check and cups of water to drink, and have to recruit temps to catch up?
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ACDC8
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Mon Jan 11, 2010 11:07 pm

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 5):
In Germany it is usually 30 days (and not 35 as listed above).

Thats what I got in Germany as well, but I also banked my over time, so I usually had a good 45 days off each year (not including all those long weekends).

Quoting A333TS (Reply 11):
I personally don't know anybody (non of the people that I have met) that have 26 days of paid vacation in Canada. (I get 2 weeks which is 10 working days)

Most people in Canada get the 4% or 10 days off a year, unless your work contract has better vacation time. Right now I'm up to 15 days a year and I'll hit 30 days in about 20 years or so ...  cry 

However, since we have 12 hour days, most of us have 3-5 day weekends depending on hour shift rotation. So if you plan your holidays right, you can get 14 days off with only using 3-4 of your holiday days Big grin

The one thing I dislike about Canadian vacation pay, is that you have to "earn" it, so in other words, you have to work full time for one complete year before you've "earned" the 10 days. I like the way I had it in Germany, once you're probation was up you get your 30 days a year that kicked in the first day, so you don't have to wait a whole year to take a reasonable amount of time off.

[Edited 2010-01-11 15:10:42]
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lincoln
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Mon Jan 11, 2010 11:19 pm



Quoting PPVRA (Reply 2):
Maybe they are happier at work:

I know I am.

Last year my annual vacation got bumped from 2 to 3 work weeks as part of my annual review; this year I got two extra "bonus" vacation days making for 17 work days of vacation that I have to use by December 31st (or forfeit), not including a decent number (but by no means "government level") of company/state/national holidays. I'd much rather have two weeks and more $$$ but....

Last year I found myself with four days of vacation left at the end of December. So the last two weeks looked like

12/23 - Vacation
12/24-25 - Company Holiday
12/26-27 - Weekend
12/28-30 - Vacation
12/31-1/1 - Company Holiday
1/2-1/3 - Weekend

So twelve full days out of the office. I swear, had it been 13 I would have lost it; as it was I can honestly say that I've never been happier to go back to work. If I'm in the same situation at the end of this year, I'd much rather "throw away" a few days than put myself through that again.

Lincoln
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StarAC17
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:04 am



Quoting A333TS (Reply 11):
I personally don't know anybody (non of the people that I have met) that have 26 days of paid vacation in Canada. (I get 2 weeks which is 10 working days)

10 days is the legal minimum for full time employees

Your bosses probably get at least 20 days (mine do) plus banked overtime, and my parents get 5 and 6 weeks respectively. That number is for the most senior people I think and I bet it includes Stat Holidays in which we get about 10 plus 3 weeks vacation.

Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 17):
Most people in Canada get the 4% or 10 days off a year, unless your work contract has better vacation time. Right now I'm up to 15 days a year and I'll hit 30 days in about 20 years or so ... cry

I get 10 days as well but I can bank up to 20 days of overtime and if I'm not sick I get half my sick days allowed which is 10 so add another week as well to a max of 7 weeks technically. This sounds well but since I am a construction inspector almost all of this has to be used in the winter and even getting one day off from May to November is not always possible, also 7-7 or longer days are expected every day if we are busy enough.
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cpd
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:15 am

Quoting Cba (Thread starter):
Of all industrialized nations, it's not a little known fact that Americans work the longest and take the least time off.

I think Australia is quite high on that list too.

My leave per year (called Recreation Leave, or REC for short) accrues up to a maximum amount, where I must take the time off. If I hit the limit (which is 40 days if I remember right), automatic notices in the Employee Self Service system start and someone comes along as says you must take leave because you have too much.

After 7 years of service, I start to accrue LSL (long service leave).

I also have other types of leave:
Sick Leave
Extended Leave
Long Service Leave
Family & Community Service
Study Leave
Paternity leave
Concessional
Banked Time
Public Holiday
Military Leave
Leave Without Pay
Flexileave
1/2 Day Flexileave
Special

Military leave is a special one. It is not allowed for employers to forbid that - they can be in serious trouble with the law if they do try and forbid it. It typically covers military reserve people who are deployed. This one doesn't cover me as I don't serve in the armed forces (only civil service for me).

Flexileave (or flex for short) is the time you accrue when you work in excess of the normal 7 hours per day (or 420 hours in the 3 month settlement period). We don't get overtime, but these hours accrue as flex time once you get over 420 hours in the 3 month period. For example, if I work 425 hours in that period, I have 5 hours flex that accrues.

However, if I work 437 hours, then that is 17 hours extra, and I can only carry over 10 hours. So you have to then "bank" the rest. So what you'd do is accrue 10 hours of flex, and bank the 7 hours left-over into your banked time. You can save a maximum of 42 hours of banked time. If you approach that limit, you take a day or two off as Banked Time.

The Flex time can be taken as Flexileave (7 hours) or a half-Flex (3.5 hours). Or you can use it to have flexible working hours, so long as the core working hours are covered by adequate amounts of staff. So one day, I might work 6 hours, and another I might do 8 hours, etc. Or I might come in to work late, and leave late, or the reverse, etc.

[Edited 2010-01-11 16:42:54 by cpd]
 
L410Turbolet
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:17 am



Quoting Sbworcs (Reply 11):
8 Bank Holidays

What if the date of the bank holiday happens to be Saturday or Sunday? Tough luck or do you get the Friday before or Monday after respectively off?
 
Super80DFW
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:18 am

At my part time job, I get quite a bit of time off compared to other part time jobs. I get all bank holidays off, which is something I haven't heard of at any other part time job other than tellering at a bank.

My parents are both salaried, and get quite a bit of paid time off. My dad get 28 paid days off, and 5 floating holidays. That doesn't include sick-time, and I don't know how much of that he gets. My mom gets 14 days paid, 3 floating holidays, and all bank holidays off. Once again, that doesn't include sick-time.
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cpd
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:24 am



Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 20):
What if the date of the bank holiday happens to be Saturday or Sunday?

That's the one thing I don't get - but in place of the bank holiday, I get a public service holiday on 29 December.

If our public holidays fall on a weekend, then the following Monday is taken off.
 
fr8mech
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:40 am

Quick question: Is the vacation mandated by law in countries outside the US? That could answer your question.

For the record, with 20 years, I have 5 weeks of vacation, 8 holidays and 5 days of personal time.
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srbmod
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:43 am



Quoting Lincoln (Reply 17):
So twelve full days out of the office. I swear, had it been 13 I would have lost it; as it was I can honestly say that I've never been happier to go back to work.

About six years back at my old job, I took my week's vacation for that year and at the time, I worked Monday through Friday. So by the time I returned to work, I had been off nine days straight, and had been home from my trip for three days. Those three days I was bored out of my gourd.


Years back, my department at the store I worked at tried working the full time employees four days a week, working a 10 hour shift and giving us three days off each week (Two of them would on occasion be back to back.). Each week, two of us within the department worked this schedule, one on the opening shift and one on the closing shift. It lasted about two months before they scrapped it, as all four of us who were on this schedule all had the same complaint. By that third off day, you didn't know what to do with yourself. I had friends a few years later whose jobs put their positions on a four day work week with three off days in a row and the novelty wore off rather quickly.
 
PVGAMS
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:55 am

Quoting Tugger (Reply 6):
What are the numbers for China and India?

I can tell you that China's holiday policy as published by the government is "115 days including weekends"

In 2010 this equates to 15 official vacation days excluding weekends.

This is holidays only and does not include sick days and others.

[Edited 2010-01-11 16:58:39]
 
Aeri28
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:02 am

let's not generalize American's vacation days. I get 20 v days per year, plus 5 "do what I want" days at my present job which I've been at 4 years now. Previously in California for a large financial institution, I earned (after 10 years) 3 weeks paid vacation, but earned far more in sick days and comp days, and each "2 consecutive sick days" counted as only one occurrence. Anyway, whenever one applies for a job, or is hired, obviously the amount of vacation time offered is made aware, so you do have a choice to accept that 'package' if it suits you. Nobody forces you to take a job that offers 2 weeks vacation if you want more. I don't think there is a law that specifies vacation days are mandatory in the US either. It's a company specific offering I believe. I am not saying I wish I could work at Burger King, get paid $50K and get 4 weeks vacation, but that's not going to happen. I went to school, learned my skills, and paid my dues so I could have a good compensation. When I apply for a job, I look at the entire benefits package and that includes vacation and sick pay.
 
ltbewr
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:07 am

In Europe, I think there is much more dominace of unions as well as a much stronger concept of workers rights vs. employers than in the USA to push for more vacation time.

Part in the USA is historical, that we are an 'immigrant' nation, one where people who came here were or had to work more hours to get the incomes they needed to survive or keep their jobs.

Adding as to the USA's experience is the pressure on employees to look 'loyal', high rates of unemployment and underemployment that discourage taking time off and how many employers have so slimmed down staffing that to take off would hurt the employer. Then there is the need to get as much as possible out of employees as to work to cover overhead costs like medical insurance premiums, Social Security share of employees, sick days and so on.

What that means in the USA is maybe for those in full time jobs, no days in the first 6 months, a max of 5 to 10 days after the first year, maybe 15 vacation days after 5 years. Few employers except for police or firefighters or unionized employees offer to those employees who joined them in the last number of years any more than 4 weeks vacation, and then after many years (5-10).
 
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LTU932
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:12 am

In Costa Rica, you only get 10 days of vacation, if you're lucky maybe even a bit extra over Christmas. It's similar with kids who go to school, they only get 2 weeks during midterm, and if lucky, they may get a week off during easter. National holidays are either days of study, or they are forced to participate in "patriotic acts".

In Germany, at least in Hamburg (without counting the yearly vacation in the summer and separate holidays), we used to have one week during the Autumn, a week and a half or so during Christmas and New Year's, a day off as an official winter vacation, two weeks during Easter and a week during Pentecost (there were times where the easter vacation was three weeks, and the pentecost holiday was just the Sunday during Pentecost and Monday after Pentecost). This is just for kids who go to school and maybe the Uni. As far as a real vacation is concerned, most people take at least a month of vacation in June/July (depending also on when the Summer vacations in all school starts as well).

[Edited 2010-01-11 17:16:00]
 
luckyone
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:33 am



Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 27):
What that means in the USA is maybe for those in full time jobs, no days in the first 6 months, a max of 5 to 10 days after the first year, maybe 15 vacation days after 5 years. Few employers except for police or firefighters or unionized employees offer to those employees who joined them in the last number of years any more than 4 weeks vacation, and then after many years (5-10).

That is indeed what I would see as the norm. After my 90-day period of whatever it's called I had two weeks prorated vacation on hire, at age 22. Now, that was going to stay that way until I hit either four or five years (it doesn't matter now because I went back to school). Then I'd get another week. Whether or not I think it's enough I think it's one of the reasons why it's much easier to find a well paying job in the States as opposed to Europe because employers don't have to provide all of the same benefits.
 
lincoln
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:58 am



Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 27):
What that means in the USA is maybe for those in full time jobs, no days in the first 6 months, a max of 5 to 10 days after the first year, maybe 15 vacation days after 5 years. Few employers except for police or firefighters or unionized employees offer to those employees who joined them in the last number of years any more than 4 weeks vacation, and then after many years (5-10).

I think that's tough to generalize: For example, when I started my current position 4-ish years ago I started June 20th. I was immediately given a full two weeks (10 days) of vacation (that had to be used by 12/31 of that year), plus another week of paid leave to fufill a commitment I had made to a non-profit back home. After my 3 year anniversary, I was automatically granted another 5 days per calendar year, bringing me to 15 days per year.

My dad, who hasn't been in a union job since the early '70s changed jobs a year or two back and as part of his compensation negotiations was granted (IIRC) 5 weeks per year available from day 1.

Outside of a unionized workforce, it's pretty much up to the employer and employee to negotiate the employment relationship within the confines of the law. Some people like taking time off...Others don't/

Lincoln
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Falcon84
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:00 am

I don't have to accept less. I get 4 standard weeks off, and can basically "purchase" two more, which I think is worth doing. That's 6 weeks, far more than most Americans. And, after my 25th year with CO, I get a 5th week off as it currently stands.
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N1120A
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:31 am



Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 5):

Is this true, Americans only get 13 days of paid vacation? I can't believe that!

A lot get just 10 days. Or none at all.

Quoting Sbworcs (Reply 11):
I get 27 days plus 8 Bank Holidays in the UK.

People in non-service industry jobs get plenty of holidays as well.

Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 16):
The one thing I dislike about Canadian vacation pay, is that you have to "earn" it, so in other words, you have to work full time for one complete year before you've "earned" the 10 days. I like the way I had it in Germany, once you're probation was up you get your 30 days a year that kicked in the first day, so you don't have to wait a whole year to take a reasonable amount of time off.

Same in the US, though some places let you operate a vacation deficit.

Quoting Lincoln (Reply 17):

Last year I found myself with four days of vacation left at the end of December. So the last two weeks looked like

If you were still in CA, the company would either have to pay you out for those days owed or roll over the vacation.

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 20):

What if the date of the bank holiday happens to be Saturday or Sunday? Tough luck or do you get the Friday before or Monday after respectively off?

That's how it works in the US.
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yooyoo
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:40 am



Quoting A333TS (Reply 10):
I personally don't know anybody (non of the people that I have met) that have 26 days of paid vacation in Canada. (I get 2 weeks which is 10 working days)

when i started my current job 13 years ago i got 10 days, now i'm up to 20 days.
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nws2002
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:45 am



Quoting Cba (Thread starter):
However, we have some of the lowest worker productivity statistics of the industrialized world.

As other's have pointed out we actually have some of the highest, but I question exactly how those numbers are reached.

I also question how they come up with the vacation time numbers. There are simply too many variables.

There are salaried people in mid-level positions that do not have a set amount of vacation time per year. They get their job done and take a break when they need it. My father falls into this category.

There are also many flex-time arrangements where people work odd-hours to cover childcare issues and work from home as needed. My mom falls into this category.

There are positions like airline crewmembers, police officers, shift workers, etc who receive lots of time off as a perk of their schedule. I fall into this category, and I can usually fit in a five day break per month if I hit my schedule up correctly.
 
Elite
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:25 am

17 days plus every Sunday is listed as a "General Holiday" here in Hong Kong... nice little breakdown list provided by the government website:

http://www.gov.hk/en/about/abouthk/holiday/
 
lincoln
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:39 am



Quoting N1120A (Reply 32):
If you were still in CA, the company would either have to pay you out for those days owed or roll over the vacation.

Sadly, I know... it make "wasting" vacation (either not using it, or using it by lounging around the house) that much more painful.

When my dad left the job that he had for most of my childhood, he had "banked" something like 30 weeks in the 10 years. (Needless to say, family vacations weren't a big thing; I can think of 15 or so days during that time he took off... maybe that's why I don't feel a compulsion to take extended vacations myself)
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andaman
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:59 am

I have 33 days now, goes up to 39 days next year (after 15y of service), plus the public holidays, 9? this year.

Sorry if I repeat myself, but last year I was lucky to be 'on holidays' most of the time, eight months together.
I took part to the state run 'job alternation' program, kind of half paid sabbatical for the old work horses like me. You can take a 3-12 months long break from your job if your employer hires an unemployed person for the same period of time. I was paid around half of my net salary and after eight months I got my old job back.

If you plan to study something serious full time during your sabbatical, you will get a better deal: more money for 18 months max. Nice plus is most of the education like college is practically free, also for adults.

[Edited 2010-01-11 20:04:10]
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Falcon84
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:04 am

Maybe this is stirring the pot, but with all these vacations days around the world-which are nice-how does any meaningful work get done? Everyone always seems to be on holiday.

And maybe it's why, in may regards, the U.S. worker is still among the best and most industrious in the world?
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TristarAtLCA
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:15 am



Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 20):
What if the date of the bank holiday happens to be Saturday or Sunday? Tough luck or do you get the Friday before or Monday after respectively off?

You do indeed get the holiday carried over to the next available weekday, usually a Monday, like our Boxing day bank holiday this year fell on a Saturday so we had Monday off.
If you was right..................I'd agree with you
 
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cpd
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:23 am



Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 38):
but with all these vacations days around the world-which are nice-how does any meaningful work get done? Everyone always seems to be on holiday.

Easy, we work very productively when we are at work.

You need a break sometimes - otherwise you won't work in a productive fashion.
 
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Pellegrine
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:24 am

I need at least 6 weeks vacation a year, if not 8. I don't live on anyone else's clock. I also like to see my family and friends spontaneously and often, and they are located around the globe. My favorite thing is to take a "mental week", where I go on a vacation or a retreat by myself. I don't get paid for any vacations since I work for myself currently.

I would say 90%+ of my acquaintances have traditional 9-5 jobs, but the only way I would take one is if working for myself doesn't work out someday. Not naming my own price, 2 weeks vacation a year, "oh we have to stay in the office late to get this done", just doesn't work for me.
oh boy, here we go!!!
 
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WildcatYXU
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:35 am



Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 16):
The one thing I dislike about Canadian vacation pay, is that you have to "earn" it, so in other words, you have to work full time for one complete year before you've "earned" the 10 days.

It depends on the company and/or your own arrangement with it (or on the collective agreement, if you're unionized). When I started the previous job, I indeed had to wait the full year. With Labatt, I had the full 15 days available immediately. 2 more years to go for the fourth week...

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 18):
Your bosses probably get at least 20 days (mine do) plus banked overtime, and my parents get 5 and 6 weeks respectively.

It doesn't even have to be a boss. Mrs. Wildcat just recently changed jobs and and she received 20 days w/o problems. My predecessor had a yearly allowance of 12 weeks. However, he started at Labatt almost a year before I was born.

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 18):
. This sounds well but since I am a construction inspector almost all of this has to be used in the winter and even getting one day off from May to November is not always possible

That's my problem as well. For us is summer (obviously) the high season, so take vacation in summer may be a challenge (I have no vacation relief). I took two weeks last summer (visited my sick mother in Slovakia) and I paid for it dearly...
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Aeri28
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:16 am

I should have mentioned as well, as some others have, that we get holidays off which adds 6-7 days per year depending on your state. In Hawaii, we get Prince Kuhio day and another one or two, that aren't offered on the mainland. Each state is different. I also, in Calif. was able to purchase vacation time off which I enjoyed.

For the state of hawaii, these are the holidays observed (now whether or not your company observes them is another matter.)

Fri, 01/01/2010 New Year's Day 1st day in January
Mon, 01/18/2010 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 3rd Monday in January
Mon, 02/15/2010 Presidents' Day 3rd Monday in February
Fri, 03/26/2010 Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Day 26th day in March
Fri, 04/02/2010 Good Friday Friday before Easter
Sun, 04/04/2010 Easter Calculating Easter
Mon, 05/31/2010 Memorial Day Last Monday in May
Fri, 06/11/2010 King Kamehameha I Day 11th day in June
Mon, 07/05/2010 Independence Day 4th day in July
Fri, 08/20/2010 Statehood Day 3rd Friday in August
Mon, 09/06/2010 Labor Day 1st Monday in September
Tue, 11/02/2010 General Election Day 1st Tuesday in November following 1st Monday of even-numbered years
Thu, 11/11/2010 Veterans' Day 11th day in November
Thu, 11/25/2010 Thanksgiving Day 4th Thursday in November
Fri, 12/24/2010 Christmas 25th day in December
Fri, 12/31/2010 New Year's Day Next year's New Year's Day (Observed)
 
Ken777
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:29 am



Quoting Fr8Mech (Reply 23):
or the record, with 20 years, I have 5 weeks of vacation, 8 holidays and 5 days of personal time.

And that almost gets you up to a Year 1 employee in Australia.  Smile

I'd forgotten about the long service leave. Wife's brother & his wife both work in medicine and both get either 3 months at full pay or 6 months at half pay. I believe both generally carry close to 6 months (at full pay) up their sleeves at any given time.

I also believe that Aussies are far stronger at international holiday travel than Yanks. I don't know how many friends I knew would fly out of the country on the first day of holidays and return at midnight - 8 hours before they had to return to work. You could see the "look" on their face the first day back at work!
 
asuflyer05
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:06 am

I think a lot of it stems from the fact that there is always someone willing to do your job for less pay and less benefits in this country.
 
Cactus739
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:20 am

I've been with my employer since October of 2001.

I get 20 days of vacation per year.

9 or so holidays off per year.

2 personal days per years.

That's 31 days... one whole month out of the year that I don't have to work.
You can't fix stupid.... - Ron White
 
Elite
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:33 am



Quoting Asuflyer05 (Reply 45):
I think a lot of it stems from the fact that there is always someone willing to do your job for less pay and less benefits in this country.

That problem has to be present in other areas as well... especially in Western European countries, now with the EU and the ability of people to move from Eastern European countries over to the West. This problem is also prevalent here in HK, with a lot of SE Asian immigrants as well as an incredibly large number of mainland Chinese immigrants.
 
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aerorobnz
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:49 am

I couldn't work like that.... It'd drive me insane...

I'm currently sitting on 42 days leave + Rostered days off = 62 days paid leave/ almost 9 weeks leave . Admittedly I haven't taken any leave since Jan/Feb 09 (When I last had 2 months paid holiday to South America) but that's only really 1 years worth of accrued leave. It's an important motivator for me to be in my job, it drives me to be up at 3am, and to work on public holidays.

I'm not yet entitled to Long Service leave either, having only been with the company just under 5 years.
Flown to 120 Airports in 44 Countries on 73 Operators. Visited 55 Countries and counting. Wanderlust is like Syphilis, once you have the itch it's too late for treatment.
 
ACDC8
Posts: 7270
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RE: Why Do Americans Accept So Much Less Vacation?

Tue Jan 12, 2010 7:24 am



Quoting N1120A (Reply 32):
Same in the US, though some places let you operate a vacation deficit.

Our previous management had "coupons" for a short period of time, but they went back to the standard system after a few years of that.

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 42):
It depends on the company and/or your own arrangement with it (or on the collective agreement, if you're unionized). When I started the previous job, I indeed had to wait the full year. With Labatt, I had the full 15 days available immediately. 2 more years to go for the fourth week...

It does depend on the company you work for, some do allow you to take them before, but some (as does my present employer) goes by Employment Canada standards ....  cry 

Fortunatly, with all my scheduled days off and "lack of life" right now, I don't really need to take much time off, so all my left over sick and vacation days goes into my RRSP which is great come tax time, which means I should be getting a nice sum back this year Big grin
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