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    How many paid vacation days a year do you want?

    challenge posed by Kate Freeman 11 days 10 hours 58 minutes ago

    Category: World
    Challenge Forum

    How many paid vacation days a year do you want?

    It’s widely known that Americans rank low when it comes to how many vacations days per year we get AND take, compared to other developed countries. On average, Americans get 2 weeks of vacation – and it’s not required by law that employers pay employees during vacation days. In Australia, it’s common to get a total of 4 weeks of paid vacation plus 10 holidays, Brazilians get 22 days of paid vacation on average, and the French get 5-9 weeks of paid vacation per year. Japan has an average of 10 vacation days but those are guaranteed paid days off, unlike the US where it is up to employers to decide if vacations are paid or not. Numerous studies have shown that taking vacations increase focus, relieve stress and lower risk for heart disease. But it is reasonable to expect all employers to pay for employee time off? Share your thoughts in the comments.

    Re: How many paid vacation days a year do you want?

    Hello Kate Freeman!

    I like this post!

    I think at a minimum, people should get two weeks paid vacation a year. Personally, I would like more than that, but, at a minimum, two weeks out of 52 isn't asking for a lot.

    I think that it is a reasonable expectation. Besides the studies you mentioned that reveal the correlation between stress reduction and vacation time, I feel that employers, even if not obligated by law, should offer that as a show of good will. Employees perform better when they like the employer that they are working for. Employees are more likely to refer other individuals to a job, or to the company they work for for service, if they like the company they are working for. Paid vacation time isn't much of an investment in comparison to the boost in morale and productivity that they get in return.

    I would like three weeks a year paid vacation time. I like to travel, and don't want to have to choose between paying my bills and going on one. It is a lot easier to save for a vacation if you know that you will be getting your standard paycheck while you are on one. I don't expect three, but it would be nice.

    Enjoy your week Kate!

    -Kay

    Re: How many paid vacation days a year do you want?

    Hi Kate, I do believe that having paid vacation should be mandatory especially after you put in consecutive 40 hours work weeks. 2 weeks, paid is not sufficient for Full-time employees. I am a State employee and I receive about 6 weeks of paid time off (vacation, sick, administrative leave) in addition to all major holidays .

    This is good for me. But to only have 2 weeks of vacation with the option to have it paid, is not good at all. And people wonder why other countries are more productive and have longer employee retention

    Re: How many paid vacation days a year do you want?

    Hello Kate,

    This is a very good question.

    There are more studies every week it seems that challenge things we take for granted every day. I remember hearing about a company that actually has rooms for employees too sleep DURING WORK!!! I would say that it would be good to force employers to give their employees paid vacations, but not force the employees to take the vacations, because it could be that the employees like their job and thus don't need vacations. Does that make sense? I hope it does, because it seems like a really good idea to me. As for how long paid vacation should last, I cant really say because I've never held a full-time job so I don't really know how much they would need.

    Thank you,
    Leland

    oh yeah, and holidays should obviously be automatic days off, weather they should be paid or not, I don't know, but nobody should be working on a holiday, that's just wrong.

    Re: How many paid vacation days a year do you want?

    Kate Freeman,

    Yes it is reasonable for employer's to pay employees for vacation time. Happy employee equals better work performance. We need a better work life balance in America. In my opinion life should not be about working yourself in the ground and having nothing to show for it. And by nothing I do not mean material things. Life experience is far more important to me than "things."

    This is a great forum question!

    Thanks!

    Re: How many paid vacation days a year do you want?

    Honestly, I think the French have it right (I spent a year there and am dying to go back so maybe I'm biased). But, for much of August, most of the country just shuts down as everyone heads to the coast to enjoy the summer weather after a cold, wet winter and an even wetter spring.

    I'm lucky because I get 5 weeks of paid time off (this includes vacation and sick time). But my vacations are a far cry from those of the French and typically take the form of a few long weekends here and there. I can't imagine approaching my boss and telling him I'll be taking off for 4 weeks! I doubt he'd even approve the request. And those long weekends never really satisfy my need for relaxation. The first few days I'm catching up on all the things I couldn't finish around the house, then there's the normal weekend activities, and then, just as I'm starting to wind down it's time to wind myself back up again.

    Studies have shown that well-rested, content, and relaxed employees are more productive employees. To that end, an employer that doesn't offer paid vacation time is likely hurting the company's bottom line in the long run. There's a website called "Project: Time Off" that has compiled some research, articles, and other resources about the benefits of taking time off work (http://www.projecttimeoff.com). There are some interesting reads there and some resources that might just convince an employer that more time off is the key to a happier and more productive workforce!

    Re: How many paid vacation days a year do you want?

    I believe that 3 weeks paid vacation a year seems fair. But ideally 4 weeks paid vacation would be perfect.

    Re: How many paid vacation days a year do you want?

    Hello Kate,

    I don't think that the employers should be required to give vacation days, paid or not. While it may be true that vacation is good for the employee, it should be the employer's choice as to whether or not they provide vacation and paid vacation. The employers who do provide vacation and paid vacation would be socially lauded and people would seek to be employees with their company. It should be the employer's choice, but I think that most employers who care about their employees would offer paid vacation. Even if the government forced employers to offer paid vacation, then companies who didn't care about their employees would find another way to take benefits away from the employees. If there isn't a regulation it would be easier to determine which employers are good and which ones aren't good.

    Re: How many paid vacation days a year do you want?

    I get 18 days of paid personal time, which can be used for vacation and sick days. In addition we get some holidays but not all.

    I personally would like to see companies require a month or so of paid leave, such as a sabbatical that University professors get. Employees would be encouraged to travel to a foreign country in order to truly unplug from the American bustle.

    Though I know a lot of people who just don't take vacation time. It for a day here or there.

    I miss having the long summer break between school semesters for travel and to stay with family. I would love to be able to take off a whole month at once.

    Re: How many paid vacation days a year do you want?

    Hi Kate,

    I like the Brazilian idea! 22 days of paid vacation leave sounds excellent to me! Employers could think of it as paying to preserve their employees' mental and physical well-being, as well as hopefully ensuring they'll stay with the company because it treats them well. I visited Spain last summer, and half of the businesses shut down for the summer. It was a little bizarre, coming from a country where everything is open year-round, but it made me think. In Spain (and I believe also Brazil), people live to live, not just to work and get by--whereas over here, especially in New York, people work themselves to the ground and hardly get to enjoy the life they've built for themselves because they're always at work. In countries like Brazil and Spain, people enjoy the life they have, making an effort to balance life and work in a way we've never really been able to do in the US, at least not well. I like that a lot, and I think it's good to shift our focus away from constant work so we remember to take care of ourselves and our families and enjoy the life we've worked so hard to create for ourselves.

    Rebecca

    Re: How many paid vacation days a year do you want?

    I'd like 365 paid vacation days a year!

    Re: How many paid vacation days a year do you want?

    hi hi!

    Of course America doesn't have such law, to provide paid vacations. They start nailing children's heads with rules of how to be a useful WORKER in elementary school, and most people have fear of taking vacation days even if it's paid because they might lose their position or appear as careless employee.
    Having time off work is mandatory, not just for health reason but for fulfilling life - either you're a worker or you own your own business. Work does not need to take up one's entire existence to prove that one is responsible, loyal and good employee. People who don't take time off are less of a profit to companies because they get sick more often, they are disengaged, depressed and unhappy.
    To me 8 weeks would be fair. Out of 12 months of the year, I would take one month vacation in the summer and one month in the winter.

    Talk later!
    Sammy

    Re: How many paid vacation days a year do you want?

    Hi Kate Freeman.
    I think it's important that employees feel comfortable, like their job, and are on good grounds with their employer in order to excel at their job. I think the smartest employer would be the one who is capable of giving vacations and fulfilling the needs of his workers while still maintaining a strict working environment. When employees feel that they are being overworked, overtime, they will most likely leave their current job and look for another. I think a good employee, who has worked hard, earns the right for a paid vacation. Some time off to relax, and see family and friends, without worrying about all the expenses. This employee will come back happy and refreshed and ready to do more for his employer. Especially since some employers aren't always around the business or work area, so technically speaking, the employees are the ones who are handling all the work. They are the ones who either give the customers, or anyone communication with the business, a good or bad idea of the business. Giving employees paid vacations may create a good relationship between the employer and employee, and thus allow the employer to work his job with a full heart.
    My husband works in a hospital and thankfully he gets 4 paid weeks of vacation. He works long hours everyday from Mon-Friday and has night shifts regularly. When the vacation comes it allows his to take a break and do some traveling. Since he works in a hospital, everyday he deals with lots of different people. I think it's important that when he does, he can put up a genuine smile and do the job right. They divide the four weeks of vacation throughout the year, so that every three months you get a week off. I see my husband how this week off is like the light at the end of the tunnel. He starts planning for it and he motivates himself by reminding himself that at the end there will be a week off. I think sometimes that's what lets him stay on his feet and go to work everyday.

    Re: How many paid vacation days a year do you want?

    I think paid vacation days are very important. Unfortunately, a lot of lower paying jobs do not offer paid vacation days. Which is counter-intuitive because this is the population that could most use paid vacation days.

    I get 29 paid vacation days a year plus holidays. I think this is adequate. My last job gave me 39 paid vacation days a year and no holidays. I very rarely, if ever, used all of my vacation days.

    Jenni

    Re: How many paid vacation days a year do you want?

    Good day Kate Freeman,

    Paid vacations sould be a least 2 weeks out of the year. It is certainly true that working parents have a lot of responsibilities and could easily use a good chunk of the PTO in appointments and child sick days, leaving little for vacations. If employers are able, this should be considered. However, many small business owners have their own set of challenges and may not always be able to accommodate

    I think new employees should start with one week and at six months they get an additional week. A minimum of 2 weeks going forward, increased as they gain in seniority. Holidays should be at least 9. Those making the rules can’t relate to single parents and how much time is needed for medical appointments, etc. They also probably don’t remember being an hourly employee or perhaps never were. Many employees have to use vacation hours to cover personal appointments and can’t just flex their schedule as exempt staff can. Work-life balance!!

    Good one, God Speed

    Re: How many paid vacation days a year do you want?

    Hey Kate!
    I am on the same page as most people here. I think one to two months every year of paid vacation would be great. Keep the work wee at 40 hours or even less and have at least one month paid vacation. I think a second should be available but not paid or something.

    I just watched the newest Michael Moore movie about stealing other ideas from the countries around us. While I don't really like Michael Moore movies because he is sooo liberal I think he has great points. I just don't think he is calling to the right people. He is mostly just appealing to the people that already agree with him.

    In most of the countries that he went to, like you said, have much more vacation than we do. They are also really understanding of the value of taking time off. It brings the workers back happy and healthy and their work is reflected in exactly that way!

    Thanks for asking :)
    -Riley

    Re: How many paid vacation days a year do you want?

    Hey all,

    I think 4-6 weeks seems optimal. There can be sabbatical once in every few years. It can be offered after promotions or good performance maybe.

    My opinions may be flawed. I really haven't worked full-time anywhere to comment.

    Haha, @luringattraction 365 days a year every year??

    Hbee

    Re: How many paid vacation days a year do you want?

    Hello kate,

    two weeks is the norm but after working at a company for many years it jumps up to three weeks. I suppose a month or two would be great as well.

    Have a great day!

    Jenelu Rose

    Re: How many paid vacation days a year do you want?

    Where I work, we have the official holidays set. Then, we have different hours we accrue by working. Depending on how many years you have worked, you accrue both sick and annual leave. So, for me, I get 3.5 hours for every 40 hours worked, but in 2 years, it will increase to 5 hours for every 40 hours worked.

    We don't have a set number of days that we can take, as long as we are using our annual leave. Usually we have a few people take 4-10 weeks of annual leave, whether it is for a vacation or sick child or vehicle problems or service being done on your home, etc. We are not required to take a vacation or use annual leave, as the time rolls over year after year. But things happen.

    Instead of being called PTO (paid time off), my employer calls it annual leave.

    Honesty, I like this system. Because if you get a set number of days, what happens in the event of an emergency and you are out of the set amount of paid vacation/personal time? A lot of times, you don't get paid.

    However, there do need to be checks and balances if this system is in place so that the same person can't keep taking off all the time.

    So, yes, it is reasonable to expect employers to paid for time off. Employees can't control everything and emergencies, home problems, car problems, sick kids, them being sick, etc. happen! Employers should be accommodating to their employees.

    Re: How many paid vacation days a year do you want?

    I think two weeks is an ok amount of time. It should definitely be required and paid, because like someone mentioned before, they are preserving the well-being of their employees. I think it would also be a great idea to add in two more weeks, but have it optional and unpaid - leave the choice up to the employee. The studies are very clear about the correlation between vacation and work ethic, I think that would be enough for employers to see and want to do. If it increases the focus and motivation of the workers why wouldn't you do it? I think this should only apply to those who are full-time as well - if you're part-time somewhere then you have the time to decompress.