Statutory holiday allowance in UK lags behind with 28 days

The UK is close behind some of the most generous countries in the world in terms of statutory holiday allowance, with employees being entitled to 28 days per year.

The 2009 Worldwide Benefit and Employment Guidelines report, by consultancy Mercer, which was based on statutory entitlements for an employee working five days a week with 10 years’ service, revealed that Finland, Brazil and France topped the global list by offering staff 30 days statutory holiday per year.

UK workers are, however, entitled to the lowest number of bank holidays per year at just eight, along with Australia and The Netherlands, while Japan and India offer employees twice as many (16) annual public holiday days.

Once the statutory minimum and public holidays are taken into account, employees in Lithuania are entitled to the greatest amount of paid leave in Europe with 41 days’ holiday per year, with France, Finland and Russia coming second with 40 days, followed by Austria and Malta (38), Greece (37), and Sweden, Spain and the UK (36).

Matthew Hunt, a principal in Mercer’s international team, said: “Employers are often within their rights to ask employees to work on public holidays, or require that they be taken as part of their annual leave entitlements. For example, while it appears that employees in the UK have more total holidays than those in Malta, company contracts can create a different picture.”

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