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30 countries that have most holidays

Last updated on: December 21, 2011 09:04 IST

30 countries that have most holidays

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Holiday entitlement is often more complex since actual holiday provisions often depends on company contracts and the number and treatment of public holidays.

According to Mercer's Worldwide Benefit and Employment Guidelines, which provides an overview of employee regulation and employment practices across 62 different countries, employees in Asia fare poorly when their statutory holiday entitlements are compared with the rest of the world.

Let us have a look at how many holidays workers are entitled to in 30 countries.

Note: The figures are based on statutory entitlements for an employee working five days a week, with 10 years' service.

India

Region: Asia-Pacific

Statutory minimum holidays: 12

Ranking by statutory minimum: 15

Public holidays (days): 16

Ranking by public holidays: 2

Total holidays in a year: 28

The use of public holidays is not appropriate in the Indian context when dealing with private establishments. Private establishments must observe national holidays (January 26, August 15 and October 2) and holidays on major festivals.

The average number of such festivals may vary from five to seven. Local variations, depending on the state, are prevalent.

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Image: A view of the Qutub Minar in New Delhi.
Photographs: Reuters

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The United Kingdom

Region: Western Europe

Statutory minimum holidays: 28

Ranking by statutory minimum: 1

Public holidays (days): 8

Ranking by public holidays: 11

Total holidays in a year: 36

A worker is entitled to 28 days of annual leave each year. Public holidays (of which there are eight days in the United Kingdom) may count towards the employee's annual leave entitlement.

The figures above show the statutory minimum, including all public holidays in the annual leave entitlement.

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Image: Pedestrians walk past an underground station in central London.
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Poland

Region: Central and Eastern Europe

Statutory minimum holidays: 26

Ranking by statutory minimum: 2

Public holidays (days): 11

Ranking by public holidays: 8

Total holidays in a year: 37

The length of holiday in a calendar year depends on the seniority of the employee - 20 working days less than 10 years' service, 26 working days above 10 years' service.

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Image: A view of capital Warsaw.
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Austria

Region: Western Europe

Statutory minimum holidays: 25

Ranking by statutory minimum: 3

Public holidays (days): 13

Ranking by public holidays: 5

Total holidays in a year: 38

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Image: Visitors walk through the park of the Belvedere Museum in Vienna.
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Bolivia

Region: Latin America

Statutory minimum holidays: 25

Ranking by statutory minimum: 3

Public holidays (days): 12

Ranking by public holidays: 7

Total holidays in a year: 37

Legal definition is 30 days of annual vacation for employees with 10+ years of seniority; vacation days do not include Sundays.

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Image: A wild family of vicunas cross a road in the Bolivian highlands. These South American camelids are relatives of the llama and the alpaca and produce small amounts of extremely fine wool.
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Denmark

Region: Western Europe

Statutory minimum holidays: 25

Ranking by statutory minimum: 3

Public holidays (days): 9

Ranking by public holidays: 10

Total holidays in a year: 34

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Finland

Region: Western Europe

Statutory minimum holidays: 25

Ranking by statutory minimum: 3

Public holidays (days): 10

Ranking by public holidays: 9

Total holidays in a year: 35

Legal definition is 30 days including Saturdays. This means that employees are entitled to five weeks of vacation per year. Midsummer's Eve and Christmas Eve are not official public holidays by legislation and not included in the list above.

However, most employment contracts provide these two days as full holiday.

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France

Region: Western Europe

Statutory minimum holidays: 25

Ranking by statutory minimum: 3

Public holidays (days): 11

Ranking by public holidays: 8

Total holidays in a year: 36

The law provides for five weeks of paid vacation (that is, 30 calendar days + Sundays).

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Greece

Region: Western Europe

Statutory minimum holidays: 25

Ranking by statutory minimum: 3

Public holidays (days): 12

Ranking by public holidays: 7

Total holidays in a year: 37

Employees who have completed 10 years of service with the same employer, or 12 years with several employers, are entitled to 25 working days of paid leave per year.

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Luxembourg

Region: Western Europe

Statutory minimum holidays: 25

Ranking by statutory minimum: 3

Public holidays (days): 10

Ranking by public holidays: 9

Total holidays in a year: 35

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Image: View of the city of Luxembourg.
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Sweden

Region: Western Europe

Statutory minimum holidays: 25

Ranking by statutory minimum: 3

Public holidays (days): 11

Ranking by public holidays: 8

Total holidays in a year: 36

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Malta

Region: Western Europe

Statutory minimum holidays: 24

Ranking by statutory minimum: 4

Public holidays (days): 14

Ranking by public holidays: 4

Total holidays in a year: 38

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Venezuela

Region: Latin America

Statutory minimum holidays: 24

Ranking by statutory minimum: 4

Public holidays (days): 12

Ranking by public holidays: 7

Total holidays in a year: 36

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Image: Statue of national hero Simon Bolivar at central Plaza Bolivar Square in Caracas.
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Hungary

Region: Central and Eastern Europe

Statutory minimum holidays: 23

Ranking by statutory minimum: 5

Public holidays (days): 10

Ranking by public holidays: 9

Total holidays in a year: 33

Mandatory vacation is calculated according to the age of the employee (minimum 20, maximum 30 after age 45). An employee aged 31 to 32 would be entitled to 23 days.

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Image: The cityscape of Budapest with the Chain Bridge seen from the Gellert Hill.


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Brazil

Region: Latin America

Statutory minimum holidays: 22

Ranking by statutory minimum: 6

Public holidays (days): 11

Ranking by public holidays: 8

Total holidays in a year: 33

Legal definition is 30 calendar days.

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Peru

Region: Latin America

Statutory minimum holidays: 22

Ranking by statutory minimum: 6

Public holidays (days): 12

Ranking by public holidays: 7

Total holidays in a year: 34

Legal definition is 30 calendar days.

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Portugal

Region: Western Europe

Statutory minimum holidays: 22

Ranking by statutory minimum: 6

Public holidays (days): 13

Ranking by public holidays: 5

Total holidays in a year: 35

The number of 22 workdays is increased, by between one and three days, if the employee did not miss without justification any working day in the previous year.

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Spain

Region: Western Europe

Statutory minimum holidays: 22

Ranking by statutory minimum: 6

Public holidays (days): 14

Ranking by public holidays: 4

Total holidays in a year: 36

Paid vacation period is not lower than 30 calendar days or 22 working days.

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The United Arab Emirates

Region: Middle East and Africa

Statutory minimum holidays: 22

Ranking by statutory minimum: 6

Public holidays (days): 9

Ranking by public holidays: 10

Total holidays in a year: 31

Legal definition is 30 calendar days.

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Norway

Region: Western Europe

Statutory minimum holidays: 21

Ranking by statutory minimum: 7

Public holidays (days): 10

Ranking by public holidays: 9

Total holidays in a year: 31

Employees are entitled to 25 working days of vacation per year. Working days are defined as all days except Sundays.

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Argentina

Region: Latin America

Statutory minimum holidays: 20

Ranking by statutory minimum: 8

Public holidays (days): 12

Ranking by public holidays: 7

Total holidays in a year: 32

Vacation entitlement is calculated according to job seniority. From the 10th to the 19th year, employees can take a minimum of 28 consecutive days (that is, 20 business days).

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Australia

Region: Asia-Pacific

Statutory minimum holidays: 20

Ranking by statutory minimum: 8

Public holidays (days): 10

Ranking by public holidays: 97

Total holidays in a year: 30

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Belgium

Region: Western Europe

Statutory minimum holidays: 20

Ranking by statutory minimum: 8

Public holidays (days): 10

Ranking by public holidays: 97

Total holidays in a year: 30

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Croatia

Region: Central and Eastern Europe

Statutory minimum holidays: 20

Ranking by statutory minimum: 8

Public holidays (days): 13

Ranking by public holidays: 5

Total holidays in a year: 33

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Cyprus

Region: Western Europe

Statutory minimum holidays: 20

Ranking by statutory minimum: 8

Public holidays (days): 15

Ranking by public holidays: 3

Total holidays in a year: 35

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Czech Republic

Region: Central and Eastern Europe

Statutory minimum holidays: 20

Ranking by statutory minimum: 8

Public holidays (days): 12

Ranking by public holidays: 7

Total holidays in a year: 32

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Image: Tourists walk across the medieval Charles Bridge in Prague.
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Germany

Region: Western Europe

Statutory minimum holidays: 20

Ranking by statutory minimum: 8

Public holidays (days): 9

Ranking by public holidays: 10

Total holidays in a year: 29

For a five-day week, the mandatory vacation entitlement is 20 working days. Companies typically supplement: typically 30 working days based on a five-workday week.

Public holidays differ from each state (Bundesland). The overall amount of public holidays ranges from nine to 13 days in the course of a calendar year.

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Ireland

Region: Western Europe

Statutory minimum holidays: 20

Ranking by statutory minimum: 8

Public holidays (days): 9

Ranking by public holidays: 10

Total holidays in a year: 29

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Italy

Region: Western Europe

Statutory minimum holidays: 20

Ranking by statutory minimum: 8

Public holidays (days): 11

Ranking by public holidays: 8

Total holidays in a year: 31

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Japan

Region: Asia-Pacific

Statutory minimum holidays: 20

Ranking by statutory minimum: 8

Public holidays (days): 15

Ranking by public holidays: 3

Total holidays in a year: 15

Annual vacation is variable according to length of service - 20 days for an employee with 10 years of service.

Employees can take annual vacation by the hour up to five days per year.


Image: Trainers perform with four white dolphins during a show at Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise, south of Tokyo.
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