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Top 10 Countries for Paid Vacation

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Unfortunately, many employers don’t see the value of vacation to the productivity of their employees. Their main causes for concern being that work will pile up, deadlines won’t be met, and productivity will come to a halt. Similarly employees worry that their employer will view them negatively for taking too much leave.

These issues negatively affect the work place by creating internal pressures and stresses. That’s why it’s important to remember that expanding your workforce to a country with more paid vacation days can actually increase your company’s productivity.

Vacations recharge people, leading to happy, healthy, and energized employees; all contributing to and sustaining a positive work environment. Its also important to realize that more time at work does not equal more work completed. Thankfully, vacation promotes focus which translates to productivity. So, when deciding to expand globally, it might be a good idea to find a country that likes to give and take vacation.


Spain – 30 Days

In Spain vacation leave is determined in contract and must be at least 30 days. The schedule of leave is agreed upon between the employer and employee, and cannot be compensated financially.

For further information see our Spain payroll guide

Austria – 25 to 30 Days

All Employees in Austria whether part-time or full-time receive 5 paid weeks of vacation after working one year.  After a worker has been employed for 7 months, they are entitled to the full amount of vacation days. During the 2nd year of employment, employees receive all vacation days at the beginning of the year.

For further information see our Austria payroll guide

Germany – 24 to 30 Days

The minimum amount of vacation days in Germany is 24 under the Federal Holidays Act [Bundesurlaubsgesetz], but most employees have agreements that provide 30 days of paid annual leave. Additional leave may be granted to employees who perform intense or dangerous work.

For further information see our Germany payroll guide

Finland – 24 to 30 Days

Depending on the employer, an employee can earn either 2 or 2.5 days of paid leave a month in Finland. Accrual of holidays is earned by working either 14- days or 35 hours a month. Leave is split between summer holiday (4 weeks) and winter holiday (1 week).

For further information see our Finland payroll guide

U.K – 28 Days

Employers receive 5.6 weeks of paid annual vacation and building of entitlement days begins as soon as work commences. Employers do have the ability in determining when vacations can be taken, but if holidays aren’t used, employers must pay for the days not taken.

For further information see our UK payroll guide

Malta – 208 Hours (26 Days)

Given to employees who work at least 40 hours a week. Vacation must be agreed upon with the employer.

For further information see our Malta payroll guide

France – 25 Days

After one month of employment, employees in France are entitled to their paid leave. Workers receive 2.5 days of paid leave a month and a total of 5 weeks a year. Paid vacation is only accumulated on days worked; Vacation leave of the previous year, maternity leave, training leave, or sick leave are still considered work periods. Employers and employees should decide on the dates of paid leave.

For further information see our France payroll guide

Denmark – 25 Days

Employees in Denmark receive 2.08 holidays per month of employment. After completing a year of work, they are entitled to 5 weeks of paid vacation. Even if the employee hasn’t completed a year, they can still take 5 weeks leave, but won’t be paid for the time not earned. Payment for holiday leave can be paid as supplement, allowance, or salary.

For further information see our Denmark payroll guide

South America

Brazil – 30 Days

Once an employee in Brazil has completed a year of service with less than 6 absences, they are entitled to 30 days paid leave. When vacation is taken, the employer must provide 1/3rd of the months pay prior to the leave. Also, employees can work during 1/3rd of vacation time at 2 times the pay rate.

For further information see our Brazil payroll guide


United Arab Emirates – 24 to 30 Days

Employees in the U.A.E receive 2 days per month after 6 months, and 30 days after a year of service is completed. Employers can determine when an employee takes vacation and can also divide leave into two periods. Vacation not taken can be forwarded, but not more than once in two consecutive years. If an employer requests for an employee to work during leave and that leave cannot be carried over, the worker must be paid their wage plus leave allowance. Employers are paid their annual leave salary before the leave is taken. All leave that is not used when an employee resigns or is dismissed, is still entitled to the leave salary they did not use.

For further information see our United Arab Emirates payroll guide