How much paid holiday should you get?

Here’s an interesting question – if you were asked whether you wanted more paid holiday or not, what would you say?

The standard amount of paid holiday in most European countries is 4 weeks.

Over in Switzerland though there was a national referendum recently which amongst other things asked people to vote on increasing the minimum amount of paid holidays from 4 weeks to 6 weeks a year.

Now, let’s just pause there and think about this.

Be honest. If somebody said to you “Do you want 6 weeks paid holiday instead of 4?” what would you say?

My feeling is that there may be a fair few of you out there who would vote for the 6 weeks holiday.

Now holidays are important and are needed to enable people to “wind down” and “recharge their batteries” after working hard but businesses in Switzerland warned against increasing the holiday entitlement.

They mentioned that having more weeks of paid vacation would in effect increase the labour costs for businesses (they would be paying the same amount as before but for lower productivity).

This increased labour cost could put the economy at risk. Putting it another way, an increase to 6 weeks paid holiday could result in people losing their jobs and having in effect a 52 week “unpaid holiday”.

The votes were counted and two-thirds of the voters rejected the proposal to increase the amount of holiday and the minimum stays at 4 weeks.

Now go and grab two colleagues and ask them if they would want an extra 2 weeks holiday.

If you’re in Switzerland then only one of the three of you will be saying yes.

The ExP Group