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The weird and wonderful world of annual leave

27 August 2020 3 min read

Orange and yellow graphical image of the world

Annual leave is something we often take for granted, and with holiday plans thrown out of whack this year with Covid-19 many of us might be planning that last-minute getaway to use up some of our holiday allowances before the end of the year.

At Edays, we believe that annual leave is important. People need to be able to relax and unwind from their hectic schedules, so we thought we would do some research and find the FIVE best examples of how holiday entitlement differs throughout the world.

Ku-wait a second… how much holiday?! Kuwait has the most annual leave in the world

Employees in Kuwait receive the most annual leave globally, with 30 whole days in addition to public holidays. There are 9 official holidays that total 12 days of paid leave, and if you choose to work during a holiday you are entitled to double pay and an extra day off to make up for it! In contrast, Canadians are only guaranteed 10 days off, which amounts to 2 weeks of holiday (though after five years of work this goes up by 50%).

It pays to get married in Spain and Japan

From tying the knot and jetting off for your honeymoon (15 days), to moving house (1 day), paid leave is given for life’s major events in Spain. Similarly, in Japan employees get 5 days’ holiday for getting married.

Double Dutch

In the Netherlands, 5 days untaken holiday can be carried over each year and can be ‘banked’ for 5 years until the employee wants to take them. Over a 5 year period, an individual could have ‘banked’ 25 days holiday plus that year’s entitlement. Good luck telling your boss you’re taking two months off though!

The six-day week in Germany

In Germany, your holiday entitlement is 24 workdays a year. However, this is based on a six-day ‘working week’ including Saturdays, and since office days are still generally only from Monday to Friday, employees have the quirky anomaly of needing to book some Saturdays off throughout the year. Meanwhile across the border in France, the ‘year’ you calculate holiday in is actually 13 months, from June 1 to June 30 the next year.

It gets better with age

In Hungary, the number of holiday days you are entitled to be dependent on age. Similarly, in Mexico, while you start with just 6 days holiday, you get two more days every following year through the fourth year. After five years, employers are required to add two days of vacation time every five years.

If you have global complexities when factoring in annual leave around the world, take a read of our global solutions here.

Navigate complex leave rules and working patterns for 50+ countries around the world.

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Katrina Bennett People Director at edays
August 27, 2020

Katrina is edays' own People Director with significant UK and international experience in delivering people strategy and value-adding HR solutions across a range of organisations and sectors (including Arriva, Boots, Rolls Royce, the utility and charity sectors). Katrina has over 20 years of experience in Human Resources and is CIPD qualified.