- Among private industry workers, Americans average 15 paid vacation days per year after five years on the job.
- About a quarter of U.S. private industry workers did not have access to paid time off in March 2017.
- In some European countries, 25 days or more of paid time off is required.
Americans look forward to an annual vacation just like everyone else. But workers in the U.S. have a low number of paid vacation days compared with other countries with advanced economies. As of March 2017, private industry workers earned 15 paid vacation days on average after five years on the job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meanwhile, nearly a quarter of private industry workers got no paid vacation days at all.
By contrast, workers in the United Kingdom are guaranteed 28 vacation days per year, plus nine annual paid holidays. In France and Spain, 36 days off are guaranteed.
Why Employees Should Have Unlimited Paid Vacation Time
Richard Branson, billionaire founder of Virgin Group, said this is “something of a disgrace,” and thinks that employees should have as much vacation time as they want. Branson encourages the companies in his conglomerate to provide “indefinite holiday time, paid.” Branson made his remarks at the Qualtrics X4 Experience Management Summit in Salt Lake City, Utah, on March 6.
American executives might be concerned that employees would abuse an unlimited vacation policy, but the entrepreneur believes that loyal employees would respect it. Employees who are treated this way, Branson said, will “give 100 percent back” because they respect their employers. “How awful to work for a company that doesn’t have massive loyalty from the people who work there,” Branson said.
American Companies With Unlimited Vacation
With unemployment low and top talent at a premium, unlimited vacation time could be the perk that helps companies secure the employees they need. The number of unemployed persons per job opening was 0.9 in December 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And benefits can be a key way to attract new hires. In fact, almost 80 percent of workers said they would rather get more benefits than a pay increase, according to a Glassdoor survey.
Some companies in the U.S. are jumping on the unlimited vacation bandwagon. The following companies are among those that offer unlimited paid time off, according to Glassdoor:
Glassdoor itself also offers unlimited PTO.
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