• First of all, Europe and North America are no countries. And every country has it's own laws.
  • 1) "In the recently published “Vacation Deprivation” survey, the fifth of a series of annual surveys,®, a leading international online travel service, finds that American workers have a general inclination to under use the opportunities for paid vacations to which they are entitled, “with each employed US adult anticipated to leave an average of three vacation days on the table this year.” The survey observes the same pattern in the behavior of Canadians workers. The relatively low rate of vacations among American workers, suggests Dr. Helen Jorgensen in a study titled “Give Me A Break: The Extent of Paid Holidays and Vacation,” is explained by the failure of the American system to provide laws guaranteeing workers’ holidays or vacations. This situation is in stark contrast with the well-known benefits that European workers enjoy on average. In her study, Dr. Jorgensen, an economist affiliated with the DC-based Center for Economic and Policy Research, suggests that, across Europe, there is a serious commitment to ensuring that workers have a significant amount of paid time off (which ranges from Finland’s 39 days of paid leave, to the Netherlands’ and United Kingdom’s 28). Indeed, a Directive of the European Union (Article 7 of the E.U. Directive 93/104/EC) establishes that workers enjoy at least four weeks of paid vacation per year. On the other hand, as reported in the 2003 U.S. Department of Labor’s statistics on “Employee Benefits in Private Industry,” American workers in the private sector enjoy two weeks of paid vacation on average. In addition, those American workers who work on “national holidays such as Labor Day, are not entitled to extra pay,” adds Jorgensen. As the debate about workers’ entitlement to paid vacation time lends itself to be the mirror of the broader discussion about the role and appropriate size of the welfare state in society, experts’ positions on the issue are extremely diverse." Source and further information: Further information: - "Wide variations in EU holiday entitlements - UK amongst lowest": - "Why Do North American Workers Get So Little Paid Time Off?": - "Europe vs. America": - "Despite being one of the richest nations, America denies its workers mandated paid vacations and sick days": - "International labour statistics":"paid+holidays"+america+europe&source=bl&ots=6MuOC2J0wq&sig=TADLYSsDJC_IC4BYxYp_7qqpJOY&hl=en&ei=gr_MSYjOB5GRsAbCq-W8CA&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=9&ct=result - "Research on Annual Paid Holidays": 2) "According to Mercer Consulting (source 1 - source 2), Finland has the longest period of statutory minimun days' leave, special leaves and public holidays in Europe, with 44 days off per year. Britain ranks lowest in the EU, with only 28 days of annual leave. Japan and the USA, however, do worse. Japanese employees only get 18 days of paid leave per year, while America is the only rich country not to have any statutory paid holiday (about 14 days in practice). That does not prevent Japan from ranking only 20th in the world in terms of nominal GDP per capita, after 11 EU countries (includiing the UK, France, Germany and ... Finland !) and most other Western countries (USA, Canada, Australia)." Source and further information: 3) Please notice that also in Europe, even if your paid holiday right means that you can take a given amount of paid holidays for an amount of working days, starting with your first working day, you are usually not allowed to take this holiday during probation.
  • Europeans are Socilists...ooooh, aaaaah...that word that Right Wingers fear and hate so much...which is the reason why they have not only a month paid vacation but also a guaranteed retirement at about 3/4 of their full income, free healthcare, free education, paid family leave for both parents and many more things that those in the US who advocate for "Capitalism" are depriving us of because they have absolutely no clue what the hell it is (since Rush Limbaugh and their pastors tell them what to think). Which goes to show you why stupid people in large numbers should never be underestimated
  • Europeans have many different attitudes towards work and play and health. As for holidays they find it just as puzzling how we do not have that many holidays in a work year. We could learn from an older working society.
  • That'd be due to the evils of socialism..... scary ain't it!
  • Just look at their work weeks compared to us Americans. I'm not entirely educated on the whole situation, but I remember seeing news articles about Spain, France, etc pushing for lower work week hours, whereas people in the USA frequently work 40+ a week, up to 50, 60 - and in the case of people working onboard trains on Amtrak like me, I've put in 80 hours working a "regular" job onboard the California Zepher train.
  • Because Europeans are way cooler than North Americans! .. Ok ok ok calm down guys I'm just joking :) .. Socialism got us where we (EU) are now. I totally agree with what Twisted Taco said.
  • It has everything to do with what is acceptable to the people. In Europe, the public would never allow companies to interfere in their lives overly much. In the US, it is pounded into us that our working goal is overtime (which can rarely be reached due to company regulations). Large businesses have a bigger toe hold in our lives then they should have ever been allowed. They have 5-7 day work weeks with little benefits outside of the initial paycheck because they know they can get away with it.
  • It's a great example to show how our priority is put on the wrong things.
  • Because labor unions exercise a greater deal of influence in the European Union countries than they do in the United States. Whether you like unions or not, this is definitely one of their impacts on workplaces in EU countries.
  • Europeans understand the importance of leisure times to our overall state of well being. This is why many European countries take a siesta. They take a nap or have down time when the body's circadian rhythms are at their lowest while we Americans toil away, not listening to our bodies, having stress related health issues, and not spending enough time with our families. We have much to learn from our European counterparts.
  • Because European society decided long ago that there is a lot of value in giving people more time with the families and away from work. It's worked well for a lot of time and I wish we could adopt the same thing in North America. Seems very unlikely though.
  • There are always trade-offs. In order to appreciate what you describe, there are higher taxes, consistently higher unemployment, especially of youth, less productivity and potentially more stagnation in most EU member states. This sort of policy discourages economic dynamism.
  • Because Europeans have different ideas about what makes a person productive.
  • The European working time directive is implemented across all of europe, including the EU. Included in the directive is the provisions for employers across the EU to allow employees paid leave. This currently stands at 25 days per year (full time equivalent, and the 25 days can inlcude bank holidays such as xmas day, boxing day, good Friday etc.
  • It has always been like that is Europe. They have holiday where the person goes to a place and is treated like a queen or king for 30 days being pampered and being completely checked out for proper health. I always wished the US was kind enough to do that for it's American citizens, but again America does nothing for it's own.
  • Attitude to life... Europeans Work to Live... Americans Live to Work!
  • Vacations, healthcare, retirement secury are all due to the for of watered down socializm practiced my most european countires. Really seems to have hurt them doesn't it-since they have plenty of billionaires over there-not as many as the U.S. has but plenty.
  • The supply of labor in America is greater, so the compensation is less. In America, the consumer culture is so prevalent, that living minamally is actually looked upon as weird. It can even put you at a social disadvantage to do so. People will assume you are lazy and unmotivated if you do not possess a certain level of material goods. Even if it's your choice to live minimally despite being well off financially, they will still view it as an abnormal personality trait. Because of this, jobs have become crack. Most American's couldn't last 2 weeks without a paycheck. They never save money, they don't understand investing, and most are too fearful of losses to start a business of their own. Demand for jobs is very strong in America.
  • Sounds very relaxing. Why is Socialism considered "evil"?

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