Customer Insights: Vacation Policies – How Does Your Company Compare?

Whether it’s a trip to visit family or an adventure across the globe, nothing is better than a vacation. And now that spring break is in full swing for many schools, that means many employees with children will be taking vacations very soon.

But, as we have discussed before, paid vacation time in the U.S. isn’t as extensive as many other countries around the globe. In fact, many workers don’t get any paid time off, as federal law doesn’t actually require it. We were curious to see how our customers felt about their vacation policies and wondered if any of them worked for companies that had no firm vacation policy or unlimited paid time off, a trend that seems to be catching on with larger corporations.

Customers Sound Off on Vacation Policies:

The majority of our customers who sounded off on our community discussion board reported that they were receiving between three and four weeks of paid time off for vacations (some of these policies included sick time as well). Some customers reported as much as 30 to 32 days of PTO. It is, however, important to take into consideration that many of those who responded to our brief insider survey have accrued this time after long-term tenures of five or more years – a common policy in the U.S.

But for those who had been at the company for one to four years, the average response was between two and three weeks – still above the national average cited in the study above. According to a 2013 study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the average number of days off a worker received was 10.

While some of our customers are receiving more than the national average of PTO, we wanted to also put our average time-off policies into perspective with what some countries are offering.

How the U.S. Compares to Europe’s PTO Policies

Glassdoor recently released research that compared the PTO policies of the U.S. and Europe, revealing the countries that offer the most generous workplace and welfare benefits. Below are some of the key findings – which may make U.S. workers a little jealous:

  • The U.S. has no statutory annual or paid sick leave entitlement, and days off are often negotiated or earned as a part of the compensation package
  • Paid holiday entitlement in the E.U. is set at a minimum of four weeks per year, excluding public holidays
  • Sweden, France and Denmark offer five weeks PTO for a standard full-time position, the highest in the E.U.
  • The number of paid public holidays is highest in Spain (14), Austria (13) and Italy (12), and lowest in Switzerland (4), the U.K. (8) and the Netherlands (8)
  • The average number of paid public holidays U.S. workers are entitled to is six

We’ll turn the tables over to you, reader. How does your company stack up to the vacation policies of our customers? Do you feel like the U.S. should increase the number of PTO to the equivalent of some countries in the E.U.? Join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

About Andrea D.