• Taking vacation can help keep your productivity levels high and reduce stress from the daily demands of a full-time job.
  • Some countries, like Brazil, are entitled to 30 days a year of paid annual leave, while others like Singapore average seven to 10 annual vacation days.
  • Here's a roundup of how vacation time varies in 15 countries around the world.

It’s summertime, and the living is easy — depending on where you live and work, that is.

Many people (in the northern hemisphere, at least) have vacation on the brain right now, but if you don’t have paid time off to burn, you might be stuck in the deep freeze of your air-conditioned office.

Countries across the world vary significantly when it comes to the amount of paid vacation days that workers receive according to official labour laws. Read on for how 15 nations vary in their approach to paid annual leave — including the good old USA.

These numbers apply to full-time workers unless otherwise noted and are minimum amounts as dictated by the government. Employers can increase annual leave amounts at their discretion.


After a year of employment at a job, workers in this South American country are entitled to 30 days of paid annual leave, according to Deloitte. Additionally, employees are granted a vacation bonus equal to a third of their monthly salary.


In Spain, an employee's holiday schedule is decided in a mutual agreement between the employee and employer and may never be less than 30 calendar days in a 12-month period. Additionally, a paid vacation day cannot be replaced with financial compensation, according to the European Commission.


Down under, full-time employees get four weeks of paid leave for every year they’re at a given job, according to Fair Work Ombudsman. Employees who work on a shift schedule, such as police officers and nurses, are usually entitled to five weeks of paid annual leave.

New Zealand

New Zealand natives enjoy one of the best paid annual leave policies in the world, receiving four weeks of paid annual leave after a year of employment, based on the standards listed on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

United Kingdom

According to the Gov.uk, in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, employees are entitled to 5.6 weeks (about 28 days) of annual holiday leave.


It seems like they’ve got something figured out in the Nordic countries. A new bill, issued in February 2018, called the Danish Holiday Act allows Danish workers to get 25 days of paid annual leave.

The bill also allows employees to take paid leave in the same year they accrue it. 


Swedes enjoy 25 days of paid annual leave, as outlined in the Annual Leave Act of 1977.


French workers are eligible for paid leave after one month of work, according to the European Commission. They get five weeks of paid leave per year.

South Africa

The Department of Labour in South Africa stipulates that workers must receive 21 consecutive days of paid annual leave, one day off for every 17 days worked, or one hour off for every 17 hours worked.


According to the International Labour Organisation, employees who have worked for at least six months with the same employer (over a 12-month period) receive paid leave, ranging from 14 days (for workers with less than five years with the company) to 35 days (for workers with 20 or more years with the company).


In most provinces, Canadian employees receive a minimum of two weeks of vacation for every year of employment, as listed on the Government of Canada's website

After six consecutive years of employment with the same employer, workers are entitled to three weeks of paid annual leave.


In Pakistan, all workers (except contract and temp workers) receive a minimum 14 days of paid annual leave after a year work, according to Paycheck.pk.

Some professions, like mining, exceed that amount of paid time off for workers.


Seniority makes a difference in Japan, where, according to the Nagoya International Centre, workers receive anywhere from 10 to 20 days of paid annual leave, depending on experience.

Employees get PTO starting at the six-month mark of employment with a company.


According to the Ministry of Manpower of the Singapore government, workers in Singapore get seven to 14 days of paid leave annually, depending upon how many years they've been employed.

United States

Finally, the United States Department of Labour does not provide a legal minimum for paid annual leave — it's completely up to the employer to decide.

About 74% of American workers have access to paid vacation, according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics.

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