9 European countries where workers get more than a month of paid vacation


The United States has been criticized for having inadequate paid time off laws and offering a relatively low number of vacation days compared to other countries. On a national level, the average American worker receives 10 vacation days per year, which includes public holidays like Memorial Day and Thanksgiving. In addition to this, when it is left to businesses, the average American worker gets an extra 11 days of paid vacation in their first year with a company. 

In contrast, many European countries, particularly those in the European Union, have legislation in place that guarantees a minimum number of paid vacation days for workers. The European Union Working Time Directive, enacted in the early 1990s, ensures that all EU countries provide at least 20 working days (four weeks) of paid vacation per year. Several European countries surpass this requirement, offering workers more than a month of business days in vacation time annually. For example, France provides 30 days of paid vacation, the United Kingdom offers 28 days, and Austria, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Spain, and Sweden guarantee 25 days. Portugal provides slightly fewer vacation days with 22 days per year.

It is worth noting that in addition to the legal minimum, many companies in Europe provide even more days off to their employees. This culture of rest is prioritized in countries like Sweden, where workers are guaranteed 25 paid vacation days by law, but some employers may offer additional days. For example, Kimberly Sorce, who works for a tech company in Sweden, receives 30 paid vacation days per year due to her employer's policy. Some businesses even require their employees to take a certain number of days off to ensure they take regular breaks from work. In Norway, Lene Vindenes receives 25 paid vacation days per year, and her company mandates that she takes three weeks of vacation during the summer months between June and August.  

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