The USA is the only OECD country that does not guarantee its workers paid annual leave. As a result, US workers are less likely to receive paid annual leave or paid public holidays, and those that do generally receive far less than their counterparts in comparable world economies. European Union member states and other European countries have all established a legal right to at least 20 days of paid leave per year. Some states offer as many as 30 days. On top of this most European states offer paid public holidays. The USA has no statutory provision for paid public holidays. These are some of the findings to come from a report entitled “No-vacation nation USA – a comparison of leave and holiday in OECD countries”, written by Rebecca Ray and John Schmitt from the Center for Economic and Policy Research, Washington D.C. The findings are today published in the ETUI-REHS’s European Economic and Employment Policy Brief 03/2007.
The authors describe the substantial differences in workers’ entitlements to paid leave and public holidays across the OECD. They estimate that as many as one in four US private sector workers lack any form of paid leave. Even when entitlements provided ‘voluntarily’ by employers are taken into account, entitlements are much lower than in European countries and they are much more unequally distributed across different categories of workers.
Notes to editors: European Economic and Employment Policy Briefs (EEEPBs) are published six to eight times a year by the ETUI-REHS. The aim of EEEPBs is to provide readers with short, critical, policy-oriented analyses of topical issues relating to European employment and the economy. Policy briefs cover research that is conducted by the both ETUI-REHS and by its cooperation partners.
Click here for the full text of the EEEPB 03/2007.