The UK is among the most generous countries in the world for annual leave entitlements, according to research conducted by consultancy firm Mercer.Workers in the UK are entitled to 28 days statutory holiday, which rises to a possible 36 days when the UK's public holidays are also taken into account. The Worldwide Benefit and Employment Guidelines report, which examined paid holiday across 62 countries, found that the UK had the highest amount of statutory leave, with Poland second (26 statutory days).
Many countries had far fewer statutory days: staff in the United States (none), the Philippines (5), and Thailand (6) were revealed to be particularly badly off.
The UK’s high ranking, however, drops dramatically once rules governing the treatment of bank holidays are taken into account. UK companies are allowed to include public holidays as part of the 28 day entitlement, meaning that many employees actually have fewer days’ holidays than their peers in the rest of Europe.
Said Wolfgang Seidl, head of Mercer’s Healthcare Consulting business, “Interest in the issue of work/life balance continues to grow despite continued economic turmoil.
“Companies recognise that a healthy, happy workforce is a productive one and this feeds directly into the bottom line. How companies interpret holiday regulations provision is a major factor. With pay rises muted and often below the rate of inflation, companies are searching for other ways to motivate their staff.
“Companies that keep holiday provision as low as possible in order to reduce lost income from absent workers may find that their employees are less robust, in poorer health and crucially, less productive.”
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