No federal government-mandated paid vacation in the U.S
In the U.S., there is no federal government-mandated paid vacation, but many employers still offer some paid time off. Today 77% of all private-sector employers offer some paid vacation time for their workers. On average, Americans take 16 days of paid leave, and there are 10 public holidays.
European Union law
European countries are known for being significantly more vacation-inclined. By European Union law, workers must be allowed at least 20 days of paid vacation every year, in addition to paid holidays.
However, there is nothing to stop individual countries from offering more vacation, and many in fact do. In France, workers get 30 paid vacation days. Workers in the United Kingdom get 28, and workers in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden get 25. Employers in Australia and New Zealand, similarly, offer an average of over 30 days’ paid leave every year.
Latin American countries are more variable
Many have lots of vacation: Brazil, for example, guarantees 30 paid vacation days, with a salary bonus for the vacation period, and Peru grants 30 days accrued per year of service. Chile offers 15 days of paid leave and 15 public holidays.
On the other hand, Mexico offers 14 days, including 6 days of paid leave and 8 public holidays.
The picture changes with the Asian countries
Many of the Asian countries have vacation policies which more closely resemble those of Mexico and the United States.
South Korean workers, for example, take an average of 15 days of paid leave, and there are 15 public holidays. In Japan, workers get an average of 10 days of paid leave, and there are 15 public holidays. Taiwan’s figures are 7 paid leave days and 13 public holidays. Hong Kong workers get 7 days’ paid leave and 12 public holidays, and Chinese workers, 5 days’ paid leave and 11 public holidays.
Vacation policies in Middle Eastern countries
Middle Eastern countries have vacation policies which are more like those of Europe. In Saudi Arabia, workers start with 21 days of vacation, and can earn 30 if they stay with the company for 5 years. The United Arab Emirates offers 25, and there are 10 public holidays.
Clearly, then, vacation policies around the world differ significantly, but they can be broadly divided along regional lines – with some exceptions – and by how generous they are.