European Vacation Time/Paid Time Off

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Jeremy.B, Oct 12, 2007.

  1. Jeremy.B

    Jeremy.B Formerly Leader Blackout TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Posts:
    7,344
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    227
    Likes:
    +5
    To all my European buddies out there, just curious:

    I just finished the second part of my master's thesis, and a section was on the differences in American and European vacation time, among other benefits and paid time off. I found where the average European worker gets up to 5 weeks off per year, compared to 2 weeks for the American worker.

    Do you guys feel this is important to balancing work and family life? I am curious, because I can imagine all the trouble I would get into with that much time off.

    Any comments/opinions are appreciated; I have finished the paper but that subject fascinated me...

    Jeremy
     
  2. My03Tundra

    My03Tundra LOVES TO EDIT POSTS!!

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Posts:
    3,583
    Trophy Points:
    201
    Likes:
    +0
    Ebay:
    WTF?!? FIVE WEEKS OFF?!? Benefits, national health programs? Damn, if it wasn't for the cheap gas and local scenery I'd say I was in the wrong country...

    Then again, I get three weeks paid vacation per year, 40 hours sick time and other benefits.
     
  3. Hotspot17

    Hotspot17 Search and Rescue: Vet

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2006
    Posts:
    3,988
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    201
    Likes:
    +1
    5 weeks? I heard some Europeans get like 2 months off. A number of times on my travels (10 day vacations), I would bump into these Europeans that would explain their whole 2 month tour of a country or region. Makes me want to move to Europe.
     
  4. My03Tundra

    My03Tundra LOVES TO EDIT POSTS!!

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Posts:
    3,583
    Trophy Points:
    201
    Likes:
    +0
    Ebay:
    But, was it paid time off? I get three weeks off paid time off in a year, plus additional time.
     
  5. Bryan

    Bryan ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Posts:
    9,020
    Trophy Points:
    211
    Likes:
    +0
    Military here isn't bad. Month of paid vacation a year, and every single federal holiday off--and combat units tend to make all three-day weekends into four-days.

    The idea of having time off is important to me, but I'd rather have the option to bust my ass as a young man to earn the chance to relax comfortably in old age.

    And personal preferences aside, there are serious national economic consequences to the kind of labor laws Europe has.
     
  6. McBradders

    McBradders James Franco Club! Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2002
    Posts:
    34,131
    Trophy Points:
    286
    Likes:
    +0
    Such as?
     
  7. Star Sabre James

    Star Sabre James <b>The JUICE</b> TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Posts:
    7,786
    Trophy Points:
    262
    Likes:
    +1
    Wow, all this talk of vacation is crazy. I get at least 3 days off a year - Christmas, and my Winter and Spring fishing trips (though I am working Botcon in there)
     
  8. Erector

    Erector I ruined the Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Posts:
    11,052
    News Credits:
    21
    Trophy Points:
    217
    Likes:
    +21
    I get 22 days off per year. Plus paid national holidays. To be honest - I don't have a family (yet). I just spend the time enjoying not being in work ;)  and worrying about what sh*t I'm going to go back to, haha.

    I actually think that it's about the right amount of time to have off. Including the national holidays, that makes 30 days per year (6 weeks). My girlfriend's reading this and has pointed out that it allows for a 2 week annual holiday plus essentials such as doctors / dentist appointments, hair cuts (that's just her, I just shave mine, haha), all those kind of things that need to be done, but you can't really call into work and say "hey, I'm going to be late today, I need to get my hair done" ;) 

    Edit: I forgot to mention, my workplace also has a "flexi time" system - so if you work more hours during the month, you can take an extra paid day off the next month. That owns too!!
     
  9. Erector

    Erector I ruined the Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Posts:
    11,052
    News Credits:
    21
    Trophy Points:
    217
    Likes:
    +21
    By Europe, you mean France ;) 
     
  10. Bryan

    Bryan ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Posts:
    9,020
    Trophy Points:
    211
    Likes:
    +0
    I'm not up on recent numbers thanks to work hours, but both France and Germany are starting to acknowledge the long-term consequences of their labor laws.

    Sarkozy's openly expressed the need for reform, despite a lot of public hesitation, and Merkel is trying to carry on reforms that Schroder began.

    But specific problems include: Economic stagnation, especially compared to eastern Europen nations. An increasing inability to compete internationally--the textile business in Italy, for example, or the recent concerns of BMW in Germany (that lead to aggressive negotitations w/ the union where they basically said, "Accept change or we start moving plants overseas"). An inability to attract international companies--and the associated jobs--who don't want to have to bear the burden of those labor laws. And smaller businesses often struggle more under Europen-style labor laws.

    I'm not pretending that's the only issue--I personally think taxes in Europe are crazy also, but others would argue that the social programs enabled by those taxes are a worthwhile tradeoff. That's just a personal disagreement.

    And Locustreign is basically right--by Europe, I'm not really including the UK. Mostly I'm talking about France and Germany, but I'll throw Italy in there also.
     
  11. Sol Fury

    Sol Fury The British Butcher Administrator News Staff

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2002
    Posts:
    35,576
    News Credits:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    317
    Likes:
    +34
    Facebook:
    Instagram:
    Mind the politics guys - take it to IM or PM.
     
  12. NeilJam

    NeilJam Resident Audiophile

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Posts:
    1,469
    Trophy Points:
    177
    Likes:
    +16
    Is every business in these European countries required to give all this time off (even McDonalds and the local corner store)? And how much of it is paid?

    Starting next year I will have a total of 5 weeks off plus 40 hrs of sick time, but this is after 10 years with the same company. Would every worker in the aforementioned countries get around this amount of time off in their first year?
     
  13. plowking

    plowking I'm with ErechOveraker. Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2007
    Posts:
    10,980
    News Credits:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    257
    Location:
    Earth
    Likes:
    +19
    Well, for the place I work....that is "government run".....we get vacation time based on years of seniority....everybody gets the same sick time, and pb time...

    It goes like this: (I am in the ten to fifteen years of seniority bracket)

    12 Vacations hours a month
    8 Sick hours a month
    32 Personal Business hours a year - this is a use it or lose it setup
    Birthday paid day off - use it within 30 days after your b-day or lose it.

    The sick time and vacation time is accumalative....its not a use it or lose it thing....I have about 286 hours of Vacation, 87 or so hours of sick and 24 hours of PB time left in my "bank"

    Plus we get just about every holiday off too....thats why I have so much vacation time saved up, perfect example: Our last day of work for the year is the day before Christmas Eve....we dont go back till the day after New Years Day....all that time off is paid
     
  14. TrickyDisco

    TrickyDisco <b><font color=blue>Voted TFW2005's Sexiest Female

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Posts:
    5,302
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    211
    Likes:
    +1
    Heh, was just discussing this very matter with Smegs when we met up in London last week....

    I get 24 days off every year, usually to be taken between late May and early August. But my job fortunately allows me to stretch those limits quite a bit, tis how I get to those fall conventions, hehe. :D 
    You get more days added to your off-time the longer you stay with your job so now it's more like 27 or 28 days (and we are talking weekdays here, not weekends). Plus, if I do not use up all my assigned days in one year, they transfer to the next. ;) 

    I am quite happy with this arrangement and the best thing is, it's a union thing, so no matter if I change jobs, I'll still have this perk :p 
     
  15. Soundblaster1

    Soundblaster1 The Heisenberg of Toys

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Posts:
    13,996
    News Credits:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    256
    Likes:
    +11
    It's good to hear he's still alive.
     
  16. TrickyDisco

    TrickyDisco <b><font color=blue>Voted TFW2005's Sexiest Female

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Posts:
    5,302
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    211
    Likes:
    +1
    IIRC he is in Paris right now. Lucky bastard. Should be back by Monday. ;) 
     
  17. Spekkio

    Spekkio Master of War

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2002
    Posts:
    2,332
    Trophy Points:
    207
    Likes:
    +3
    As I understand these matters, it hardly matters how much vacation time that Americans have, because many people don't use it - either in part or at all.

    I know that my father makes it a point to use all of his every year. He's wise to do so, IMO.
     
  18. McBradders

    McBradders James Franco Club! Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2002
    Posts:
    34,131
    Trophy Points:
    286
    Likes:
    +0
    Oh, those guys.

    Rule Brittannia and all that eh? ;) 
     
  19. Jeremy.B

    Jeremy.B Formerly Leader Blackout TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Posts:
    7,344
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    227
    Likes:
    +5
    Whoa, thanks for the responses guys! I have been out of town and have not had a chance to respond...

    Squirrelcar is right. Companies in these countries have to operate within a very slim profit margin due to the high cost of employee benefits, including paid time off. There is little room for error within these margins, and, without being political, the points SC makes are very valid.

    Another point of interest in regard to employee benefits: In the U.S., employer paid benefits average around 37% of the employee's salary. In Germany it is about 75%, and in Italy, it is an astounding 92%. Further, maternity leave runs around 16 weeks, and in Spain, you receive 9 weeks of servance pay for every year of service to a company if laid off. 9 weeks!

    These "guidelines" and policies were put in place back in the days of the ECU, and, more recently, enforced by the EU (if I am wrong, please correct me). Europeans greatly value quality of life, and work/life balance...
     
  20. Jeremy.B

    Jeremy.B Formerly Leader Blackout TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Posts:
    7,344
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    227
    Likes:
    +5
    You are absolutely right. Americans and Canadians give back about 3 days of Vacation time a year due to unused time. Trust me, I won't lose any!
     

Share This Page