I like taking vacations and I’m guessing that many of you do as well, but how much time do we really have to get away? According to a report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, of the American employees who are eligible for vacation (and not all are), the average number of vacation days provided by employers is 12 per year.

12 days. That doesn’t sound too bad, does it? Being a curious type, I wondered how much vacation time other nations require. Well, here’s what that report had to say:

“The United States is the only advanced economy in the world that does not guarantee its workers paid vacation. Take notice of that word “only.” Every other advanced economy offers a government guarantee of paid vacation to its workforce. Britain assures its workforce of 20 days of guaranteed, compensated leave. Germany gives 24. And France gives, yes, 30.”

Bear in mind that those 30 days the French receive are the minimum number of days of vacation, that’s certainly not the maximum. The other interesting thing about the French is that they require a maximum workweek of 35 hours. If you work more than that, you don’t receive overtime pay; you receive additional compensated time off.

The other amazing statistic that I found was, according to ABC News, even though we have the fewest number of vacation days, only 59% of vacation eligible Americans take all 12 days. What do you do?

Since I’m always curious about the latest trends in HR and want to be very thorough in my research, I’ve booked a trip to France and Italy to investigate their vacation practices in the beginning of July. This diligent research will include eating great food, seeing interesting places, and experiencing the culture. It certainly won’t be a vacation, but I’ll be happy to share the results of my research when we return.

Here’s hoping that you have something fun planned for your summer as well!

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