How much vacation time do you get?

May 18th, 2006, 05:57 AM
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How much vacation time do you get?

As an American working in the lovely corporate world, I get a measly 2 weeks of vacation - and this includes my sick days. If I'm sick (which unfortunately I am today - & still at work!!) I have to use my vacation, or as they call it, "personal days". So how much time do you guys get? In my opinion, 4 weeks should be standard, as in Europe. People need to stop being workoholics & rest & enjoy life in this country!!!
AngelaS is offline  
May 18th, 2006, 06:05 AM
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As another American in the lovely corporate world...I get 11.5 hours per month of "Annual Leave", to be used for vacation/sick time. This time is accrued monthly, you can't use it until you accrue it.

We have other leave catagories say for funeral/administration (which gets used alot for hurricane season down here in FL)/jury duty etc...

Had I not left the company for a year and a half, I'd be at 19.5 hours per month!
pantelia is offline  
May 18th, 2006, 06:07 AM
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Angela, thats awful, having to take a day off your holiday when you are sick. Counterproductive too I would think, with people coming to work sick, passing their colds around for others.

Move to Holland! Some people get 5 or 6 weeks. Not including sick leave.
Tulips is offline  
May 18th, 2006, 06:10 AM
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I live in Ireland and at my company (a US firm actually) they give the staff in Ireland 23 days annual leave per year; if you've been working there for over five years, you get 25 days leave annually (or five weeks). Our US co-workers get three weeks. Not fair, but I think the salaries are adjusted for this - but either way, I still prefer my time off!
TravelBabies is offline  
May 18th, 2006, 06:12 AM
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In Paris, I get 6 weeks' annual leave, plus 11 statutory holidays, plus the remaining days in the week between Christmas and New Year's off. Plus an extra 2 weeks' leave and plane ticket home every other year. There is also exceptional paid leave, including 2 weeks for newlyweds.
Kate_W is offline  
May 18th, 2006, 06:14 AM
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I think we've had a thread on this once before, but it was from a few years back, and we had many, many responses on it.

I get 4 weeks paid vacation. I must use that time within my employer's fiscal year, or else I lose it, as it does not "roll over" into the next fiscal year. I also currently receive 9 "personal days" which I can use to add on to my vacation if I so choose. The personal days, however, do carry over into the next fiscal year. I am expected to use that time for sick time, personal business that would take me out of the office, like a dental or doctor's appointment, etc. Next year I will lose 3 of my personal days under a cost-cutting measure implemented by my employer. Back when I accrued 3 weeks of paid vacation, my employer gave me the option of buying an additional week, which I would do. However, once we "max out" and get 4 weeks, we're not permitted to buy an additional week. I think that's a shame, 'cause I would buy one if it were an option, in order to get 5 weeks. BTW, my company is one that expects us to work a full 8-hour day on both Christmas Eve and New Years Eve if Christmas and New Years Day are not on weekends---despite the fact most of our vendors are closed, and there's no "real" work to do!

bookchick is offline  
May 18th, 2006, 06:16 AM
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Ok, Kate - I'm moving to Paris!!! I'm getting married next weekend, so I've talked my boss into giving me two weeks unpaid leave for our HM to Europe.

Tulips - you're right - here I am at work, sitting on Fodors, not doing anything. However the mess of papers on my desk could show otherwise...

If other first world countries (ex: in Europe) are able to remain productive & competitive, have continued growth, and allow their employees a good amount of time off, why don't American companies do this? I really do not understand it!!
AngelaS is offline  
May 18th, 2006, 06:18 AM
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Most companies do make you work Xmas Eve & New Years Eve - these should both be given vacation days. Even if a person is not Christian, I don't think they would object to having the day off!!
AngelaS is offline  
May 18th, 2006, 06:24 AM
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Hi AS,

Don't you get various paid holidays - 4th July, Memorial Day, etc?

ira is offline  
May 18th, 2006, 06:24 AM
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Think the other solution is to start your own business and set your own vacation schedule. I met a man in Italy who takes ridiculously long trips with his wife and daughter and can do so because he's the boss.

For me it doesn't matter how much vacation time I get (I honestly don't know what I get - I never asked and the boss never told) because they always seem to find me no matter where I go.
cantstayhome is offline  
May 18th, 2006, 06:27 AM
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In Australia the standard is 4 weeks annual leave in addition to sick leave and / or personal leave. Sick leave, personal leave and maternity leave varies between industries, companies and pay agreements. We also have long service leave where after 10 years with the same organisation you get 90 days (basically 3 months) paid leave - very good for long holidays overseas. I work for the public service (state government) and we get the following paid leave:
- 4 weeks annual leave pa (any time owing is paid out if you leave the organisation)
- 12 days sick leave pa (not paid out if you leave)
- some personal or carers days but these may be offset with the sick leave I think (ie caring for a sick child or other dependent relative)
- 1 moving house day pa
- upto 3 days for the death of a close relative
- 10 public holidays
- 12 weeks paid maternity leave - this is fairly recent (up to 2 years leave without pay but most don't take more than 1 year)
- 90 days long service leave (LSL) after 10 years service (pro rata amount paid out in cash if you leave after 7 years service). After 10 years you keep earning 9 days LSL pa and then 12 days LSL pa after 15 years service.

The annual leave of 4 weeks pa is standard across the country as is long service leave. I'm not sure how many get paid maternity leave as this has only come in for my workplace in the past few years, although 12 months leave without pay is standard.

I think we get a very good deal here and have heard that a lot of Americans only get 2 weeks. Although certain European countries are supposed to have better deals than we do. Paid maternity leave is a big step forward. A few years ago the federal government also introduced a baby bonus payment. It's currently about $4000 for each child born. The old payment was about $900 and dependent on immunising your child.

Sorry, if this makes you feel bad. I could not cope having just 2 weeks off each year. By the way, my long service leave came up this year hence my 6 week trip to Europe/UK soon.
speckles is offline  
May 18th, 2006, 06:30 AM
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Before you pack up and move to Paris, see my posts from the past few days on a thread about doggie merde on the streets of Paris
Kate_W is offline  
May 18th, 2006, 06:34 AM
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Congratulations on your wedding Angela! Hope you feel better soon.
Tulips is offline  
May 18th, 2006, 06:40 AM
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4 weeks; 3 days personal "holidays" (this is for people who want to take off, lets say, Yom Kippur...and couldn't care less about Christmas and other situations); and we get 10 days sick-leave-bought back if on is not sick (I've not been sick for 10 years..knock on wood). And the firm gives 9 national holidays.
SuzieC is offline  
May 18th, 2006, 06:47 AM
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Right now I get about three and a half weeks (I live in the US). BUT I've been working for the same company for 22 years now so I've literally spent decades moving up to this level. I think in 3 years I'll have a full four weeks.

We accrue our vacation, x number of hours per pay period, which is every other week. Right now I accrue a little over 11 hours. We are able to roll over our vacation from year to year, but if your PTO (paid time off) bank hits 500 hours, you cannot accrue anymore. I'm also fortunate to have excellent bosses who are actually excited for me when I travel. That has not always been the case with previous bosses. I still have nightmares about my previous department.

BTW, congrats on your upcoming wedding, Angela. I agree with your workaholic philosophy.
Poohgirl is offline  
May 18th, 2006, 06:51 AM
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Lots of employees posting on this but not many employers.

I am a self-employed attorney. Since I'm the boss, I can take whatever vacation time I can afford. This year, I'm taking a 10 day vaction--longest I've taken since getting out in the working world. I would have gone the full two weeks as I will be out of the office for 8 business days anyway, but vacation budget constraints limited the length of time I could spend travelling.

As for our employees, we will allow them to take 10 paid vacation days over the course of a year, which doesn't sound like much, but we also don't have a rigid policy on personal time (if you need to go to the doctor, you go--if you've got to meet the cable guy at home, you go meet them). We take some, but not all, federal holidays, but we always take off the day after Thanksgiving and take extra days around Christmas. I know there are folks who get less than that, and I feel for them, but I don't feel bad about not giving our employees as much time as Europeans enjoy. In a small business like ours, it's noticeable when someone is gone, and it's simply not practical in our business climate. Work does not stop in the US for a full month while everyone goes on vacation.

As to those who think we can take the European approach without huring our economy, they are simply not facing reality. The US government isn't going to require employers to provide vacation time, and the market clearly doesn't place a large value on vacation time--if people valued it that much, companies would end up having to give more vacation time to key personnel, which would probably trickle down to everyone in the organization.
twk is offline  
May 18th, 2006, 06:55 AM
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I am in the US, get 26 days of vacation, 10 days 'family care time' & of course all the bank holidays (another 10 days) since that is where I work.
SAnParis is offline  
May 18th, 2006, 06:55 AM
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I get five weeks plus all "government" holidays plus sick leave...but then again, I work for the Government...

Thank you, taxpayers (of which I am one)!!
Intrepid1 is offline  
May 18th, 2006, 07:02 AM
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English public sector worker here get ready to get envious!

My standard leave is 25 days per year a nd because Ive been employed for more than five years I get an extra 5 days taking the total to 30. Plus the usual bank holidays and an extra day for the Queens Birthday.

This isnt that unusual in Britain although it is on the generous side, but the thing we get that staggers others is: flexi time.

I am contracted to work a 35 hour week. If I work over that I can add up the time and use it as leave we are allowed two days a month on this (and its not hard to build up 14 extra hours over a month). That equates to another 24 days pa. ie 54 days holiday a year nearly eleven weeks. To be honest even I find this hard to justify. Not that Im complaining.
david_west is offline  
May 18th, 2006, 07:04 AM
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I run my own business, soI call the vacation shots. I take about 10-12 weeks a year. The down side is it's never really a vacation because I have to be plugged into the office no matter where I am in the world.

Still, it beats the traditional American formula...
StCirq is online now  

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