Holiday entitlement around the world

Holiday, leave, vacation, time off – whatever you call it, and wherever you are, you always wish there was more of it.

I’m working with a company who are considering building a new technology team, and as part of that I am looking at benefits and annual leave to attract and retain talented people.  I was looking at the annual allowance in the UK and thought I’d see how it compared internationally.

My wife is from the US where I’ve heard they get a lot less paid leave than we do in the UK, but I didn’t know how it would compare against a broader international view.


The results in the table above – which are a summary from a page on Wikipedia – were a real surprise to me.

From this list, the UK comes out a little above average with 28 days paid leave (including public holidays) against an average of 25.2 days.  The US lies way behind everyone else at zero!

It was also interesting to see how some countries have a bias towards public holidays (e.g. China, India, Japan, Malaysia) suggesting that more people will be able to spend time together, rather than those who favour leave during company time (e.g. Norway, Switzerland, Spain, UAE).

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