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Jobs And Countries With The Most Vacation Time

For Those Who Really Value Paid Time Off

Jobs And Countries With The Most Vacation Time


By Mark Swartz
Monster Contributing Writer

If you want a job that offers the longest paid vacation, become a teacher or fisherman. You’re holiday entitlement will be measured in months, not weeks. If you’re looking for a country that provides the highest minimum number of paid days off, Austria gives you 38. That’s twice as many as Canada.
Paid vacation time is enshrined as a legal right in Canada. Every employer must abide by the legislated minimums. Canadian employees receive at least 19 paid vacation days when statutory holidays are added in.
If you’re wondering about how your current vacation entitlement compares, read on.
Basic Vacation Entitlements
Every province in Canada entitles an employee to vacation time after working for 12 consecutive months of employment. The amount of time off an employer must grant their employees is two weeks in every province apart from Saskatchewan (which offers 3 weeks) and Quebec (which offers one day per month). The value of this vacation time is 4% of your annual salary.
Many employers offer a third week of paid vacation. This might not apply across the board, though. In some instances, only employees who have been there for more than a year or two qualify. Or the perk might only apply to more senior jobs.
The employer has the right to determine its own approach beyond the minimums. They may even throw in a fourth week of paid vacation, extended maternity (or paternal leave), or offer other paid leaves of absence. Try to negotiate the best package for yourself with your employer.
Statutory Holidays
The government adds extra paid vacation days to your basic entitlement. These are known as statutory holidays. At the federal level, we have New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Canada Day, Labour Day and Christmas day.
Each province also offers some statutory holidays. For instance, PEI celebrates Islander Day in February. Manitoba has its Louis Riel Day at the same time. Northwest Territories observes National Aboriginal Day in June. Here’s a list of all the federal and provincial holidays.
The Carry Forward Vacation Bonus
Certain employers let you accumulate unused vacation days without being penalized. So if you choose not to take that third week of holidays this year, next year you get to take four weeks off.
This practice is more common in public sector jobs. Yet even there new limits are being imposed. Once you bank a specific number of unused days, you may be forced to take a holiday – like it or not.
Jobs That Offer The Most Paid Vacation
Teachers in the public school system get two months off each summer. Professors at colleges and universities may get up to four months off with pay. Often however there are other duties to perform or new accreditation to undertake during these long holidays.
If you like to combine travel with paid vacation, think about being a travel agent or flight attendant. Travel agents get to go on vacation packages, hosted by the suppliers. They may be travelling two months of the year. Flight attendants may get paid days off in destinations they’ve flown to. Up to 80 days per year in different locations.
Seasonal workers may qualify for a kind of paid vacation. For instance, if you fish for a living in the Maritimes, you might get extended Employment Insurance benefits in the off months. It’s not the same as getting your full pay while on holiday. But it is a reasonable facsimile.
The same used to apply to construction workers. Gardeners. Snow plow drivers and other seasonal workers. Nowadays though EI is harder to get and doesn’t normally last as long.
Countries Where You Get The Most Paid Vacation
If you like sun, sand and surf, Greece offers 37 days per year of paid vacation. Close behind is France with 36, and Japan with 35.
Australia and Germany provide 30 and 29 days respectively. The U.S. clocks in at 25 days. Compared to Canada’s 19, it’s a worker’s paradise beyond the border.
Only not so much in Indonesia, with a mere 12 days. Then there’s China with 10. Thailand posts a paltry six paid days. It’s the Philippines that outdoes the world’s workaholics: just five paid vacation days a year.
Be Sure You Can Use Your Entitlement
Four weeks of paid vacation a year sounds wonderful. Unless you work for a company where the culture frowns on taking too many holidays. In that case, your vacation entitlement may look good on paper only.
Some employers are experimenting with unlimited paid vacation days. You choose your own holiday entitlement. Sound appealing? Better be prepared to prove your on-the-job productivity if you take advantage of this perk.  
Holidays give you a chance to unwind. Plan yours carefully. Then go clear your head and recharge your internal batteries. Choose a job that gives you as much paid vacation as you need. Then you’ll return from holidays refreshed and ready for action.

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