10 Countries with Most Holidays
Bangalore: India ranked 15th on the statutory holiday entitlements according to Mercer's
Worldwide Benefit and Employment Guidelines, conducted for 62 countries. The survey was
based on the number of statutory minimum holidays and number of Public holidays.
In India, the basis of statutory leave entitlement is as follows: any worker who has worked for
at least 240 days in a calendar year becomes eligible for earned leave which he can enjoy in
the subsequent year. In case of an adult, he/she becomes eligible for a day leave for every 20
days worked in previous year. In the Indian context the use of public holidays is not
appropriate when dealing with private establishments as private establishments must observe
national holidays (26 January, 15 August and 2 October) as well as holidays on major
festivals. India, Malaysia and Thailand have the highest number of public holidays in the
South Asian region.
The U.S. ranked the lowest on the list of holiday entitlement with no statutory holiday
entitlement. Canada, Philippines, China and Thailand made their places on the bottom of the
list too with entitlements of 19, 20, 21 and 22 days respectively.
The United Kingdom enjoys the greatest amount of statutory paid holiday in the world, thus
making its place right on top of the list. A worker is entitled to 28 days of annual leave each
year, public holidays being 8 days, adding to a total of 36 days. The survey also suggested
that in spite of having the highest potential holidays, in reality U.K. employees fare worse
than other European employees.
Poland takes the second position on this list with a generous 26 days statutory holiday
entitlement along with 11 days of public holidays. Based on the Poland regulation, duration
of holidays in a calendar year is dependent on the seniority of employees. An employee with
a service above 10 years is granted 26 working days as leave and for a service less than 10
years 20 working days is granted as leave.
Austria, Bolivia, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Luxembourg and Sweden shared the
third position. Austria has 38 days of total number of holiday entitlement while Bolivia has
37 days. Bolivia’s legal definition of annual vacation is 30 days with 10+ years of seniority
where vacation days do not include Sundays. Denmark has a total of 34 days of entitlement
and Finland has 35 days where employees are entitled to five weeks of vacation per year,
with Christmas Eve and Midsummer Eve not being considered as official public holidays.
France has an entitlement of 36 days with the law providing for five weeks of paid vacation.
Greece has a holiday entitlement of 37 days, based on its legislation employees who have
completed 10 years of service with the same employer or 12 years with several employers are
entitled to 25 working days as paid leave per annum. Luxembourg has a total statutory paid
leave of 35 days where as Sweden has a total of 36 days.
Malta and Venezuela ranked fourth on this list with 38 and 36 days of statutory entitlement
each. Malta has 24days of statutory paid holiday along with 14 days public holiday, yet it
fares slightly worse in comparison to other countries of Western Europe. Venezuela has
statutory minimum leave of 24 days along with 12 days of public holidays.
Hungary, forming a part of Central and Eastern Europe occupied the fifth position with a
minimum statutory leave of 23 days along with 10 days public holidays adding to a total of
33 days. Hungary’s law provides for calculation of mandatory vacation based on the age of
the employee. A minimum of 20 days and maximum of 30 days is given after the age of 45.
Employees aged 31 to 32 would be entitled to 23 days of leave. Hungary gets a generous
amount of statutory leave after Poland in the Central and Eastern Europe region.
The Sixth position is shared by Brazil, Peru, Portugal, Spain and United Arab Emirates with a
statutory minimum leave of 33, 34, 35, 36 and 31 days respectively. Brazil, Peru and U.A.E’s
legal definition of minimum leave entitlement is 30 calendar days. U.A.E makes for the
highest amount of statutory holidays in the region of Middle East and Africa. Spain has a
paid vacation period not lower than 30 calendar days or 22 working days.
Norway was seen on the seventh position with a total paid leave entitlement of 31 days, 21
days statutory minimum leave and 10 days of public holidays. In Norway employees are
entitled to 25 working days of vacation per year where working days are defined as all days
Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Italy,
Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, New Zealand, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia,
Slovenia and Switzerland ranked eighth on this list. Argentina has an entitlement of 32 days.
In Argentina vacation entitlement is calculated based on job seniority. Australia has one of
the highest levels of statutory holiday entitlement (20 days) in the Asia Pacific region.
Belgium has an entitlement of 30 days. Croatia, Cyprus and Czech Republic have a total
entitlement of 33, 35 and 32 days respectively. Germany has an entitlement of 20 days. In
Germany for a five-day week, a mandatory leave entitlement of 20 working days is allowed.
Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia and Lithuania have an entitlement of 29, 31, 35, 32 and 33 days
respectively. Romania and Switzerland have an entitlement of 29 days while Netherland and
Serbia have an entitlement of 28 days. New Zealand has 31 days, Russia 32 days, Slovakia 35
days and Slovenia 33 days.
South Korea ranked ninth on the list with a statutory entitlement of 34 days where annual
vacation is variable according to length of service, 19 days for an employee with 10 years of
Morocco and Ukraine took the tenth place with a holiday entitlement of 32 and 27 days each.
Ukraine’s legal definition of vacation is 24 calendar days.