Paid Vacation Days Europe

Summer is around the corner! Every year, employees look forward to spending time with family and friends or discovering new places. In Canada and the United States, Europe is known for the high amount of vacation days. In this blog, European HR Consultant Doron Jannink, outlines the number of paid vacation days in Europe. How many paid vacation days does an average employee in Canada, the United States and Europe receive? 

Canada & United States
In the United States, there is no legal requirement for employers to provide paid vacation. Most employers offer full time employees at least 10 days (2 weeks) of paid vacation time. 

In Canada, most provinces give Canadian employees a minimum of 10 days (2 weeks) vacation. After six consecutive years of employment with the same employer, workers are entitled to three weeks of paid annual leave.

The number of vacation days is regulated by local law and, therefore, the mandatory minimum days off differs per country. The table below shows the minimum entitlement per country based on a 5 days’ workweek:

Country Days Country Days
Germany 20 Czech Republic 20
The Netherlands 20 Austria 25
Belgium 20 Switzerland 20
Luxembourg 26 Italy 20*
Denmark 25 France 25
Norway 25 Spain 30
Sweden 25 Portugal 22
Finland 25 United Kingdom 28 inc. bank holidays
Poland 20 Ireland 20

* Many contracts, particularly for state employees, allow for 28 days, or five weeks, of paid leave per year in Italy.

Some European countries offer employees extra days when they have been working for more than 10 years (e.g. Poland). These extra days are not specified in the table above. On top off this, European employees get time off on bank holidays and maybe even regional public holidays (e.g. Italy and Spain). In some European countries, employees need to be paid on such days, in others not (e.g. UK).

Employees must make sure to take their vacation days during the “holiday year”. This can be a full calendar year, but can also be a longer period.

Even though the mandatory minimum provides you with some guidelines on what to expect, European employees might expect more when you offer them an Employment contract. Our HR Experts will support you in the process of creating a competitive offer.

More information

In case you would like to have more information, do not hesitate to connect with Monique Ramondt-Sanders - VP of Human Resource Outsourcing at EuroDev. Interested in more information concerning our HR Outsourcing services? Please have a look at our HR Outsourcing page

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EuroDev, established in 1996 with offices in The Netherlands and France, has a single, defined purpose to help mid-sized North American companies expand their business in Europe. We have created a proven, successful business development model and since our founding, have partnered with over 300 companies to help them define and meet their European business goals. Services provided include Sales Outsourcing, HR Outsourcing and Digital Marketing.

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