UK Bottom of EU Employment Leave League Table
By Stewart Douglas
August 13, 2007
The United Kingdom is routed firmly in last place in Europe in terms of employee holiday entitlement, according to figures released today.
The figures were compiled by Incomes Data Services to reflect a league table of Europe-wide employment statistics, showing at a glance the minimum annual leave in days per annum throughout the European Union.
Despite proposed increases in annual leave entitlement to 28 days a year in 2009, the UK will still remain fixed as the very worst performing country in this regard in the European Union.
EU legislation has set a minimum of 20 days annual leave per year, and means that the current practice of including public holidays within those 20 days will no longer be permitted.
A TUC spokesperson has today welcomed the rise in paid annual leave over the next few years, suggesting that it could benefit as much as six million workers over that period with increase holiday allowances in increments up to 2009.
At the top of the table was Denmark with 39.5 days per year, closely followed by Austria on 38 and Sweden on 36 days annual leave in the working year, excluding public holidays.
Scraping the bottom of the table with the UK were the Netherlands on 28-29, Ireland on 29 and Romania on 30 days per year.
Whilst the UK is ranked bottom in Europe, the increase to 28 days annual leave is still significantly ahead of both Japan and Canada with a paltry ten days a year guaranteed.
Poorer still, the United States has no legal minimum annual leave provision, providing absolutely no protection in law for employee holidays.
The UK legislation to increase the minimum annual allowance will come in to force in April of 2009, increasing current entitlement to four weeks paid leave in the year.