9 European Countries Grant Employees One Month Paid Leave

9 European Countries
Workers in many countries around the world, especially in Europe, often take vacations for months. This is different from the United States. (Image: Christophe Ena).
The United States stands as the second-worst country globally in terms of offering leave. This stems from the minimal number of days provided for leave.

According to CNBC, on Sunday (August 20, 2023), on a national level, the average American gets 10 days of vacation, including holidays like Memorial Day and Thanksgiving, after a year of work.

When it comes to company owners, the average American employee receives 11 paid vacation days in their first year of employment.

Meanwhile, in many countries worldwide, particularly in Europe, employees frequently enjoy vacations spanning several months. This can be attributed to the European Union Working Time Directive introduced in the early 1990s, which mandated a minimum of 20 paid working days of vacation across all EU member states.

Several countries offer even more, providing employees with over a month's worth of working days off per year, as per the law. This doesn't include paid public holidays, which in certain countries like Spain, can amount to an additional 14 paid days off work each year.

Here are nine European countries where employees receive more than a month of paid leave per year, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD):

France: 30 paid vacation days per year

United Kingdom: 28 paid vacation days per year

Austria: 25 paid vacation days per year

Denmark: 25 paid vacation days per year

Finland: 25 paid vacation days per year

Norway: 25 paid vacation days per year

Spain: 25 paid vacation days per year

Sweden: 25 paid vacation days per year

Portugal: 22 paid vacation days per year

Taking a Set Amount of Leave

Given the culture of prioritizing rest in Europe, many employees receive more days off than required by law.

Kimberly Sorce (32), originally from New Jersey but now living in Sweden, works in a technology company. While Swedish law guarantees 25 paid vacation days, her employer adds a few extra days, bringing her annual paid leave to 30 days.

Some businesses mandate employees to take a set amount of leave to ensure they rest from work. In Norway, Lene Vindenes (28) receives 25 paid vacation days per year, and her company requires her to take three weeks of vacation during the summer months between June and August.

Top 10 Most Expensive Cities for Expatriates

Most Expensive Cities
Hong Kong city lights. (Image: Unsplash/yokeboy).
Previously, for those looking to leave the United States, pursuing a life as an expatriate has often been an enticing option.

As reported by CNBC on Sunday (August 13, 2023), this is particularly true for those living in costly areas like New York City and San Francisco, where the cost of living remains high. In fact, New York continues to be the most expensive city in North America and ranks sixth globally.

Relocating to work abroad, however, can come at a significant price, according to Mercer's 2023 Cost of Living Ranking, which assesses 227 cities across five continents, comparing the cost of goods and services in each location.

The most expensive city in the world for expatriates is Hong Kong, maintaining its top position for the second consecutive year.

Here are the top 10 most expensive cities for expatriates outside of the United States:

Hong Kong


Zurich, Switzerland

Geneva, Switzerland

Basel, Switzerland

Bern, Switzerland

Tel Aviv, Israel

Copenhagen, Denmark

Nassau, Bahamas

Shanghai, China

Cost of Living on the Rise in the United States

United States
Illustration of the flag of the United States of America.
In the United States, data reveals that the cost of living has increased in all analyzed cities. Globally, New York is ranked sixth, followed by Los Angeles at 11th place, San Francisco at 14th, and Honolulu at 15th.

Furthermore, Detroit, Houston, and Cleveland experienced the largest increases in the cost of living among American cities in 2023.

However, it's important to note that the cost of living is just one factor to consider when contemplating a move abroad. While Hong Kong tops the list of the most expensive cities for expatriates, it also signifies a better quality of life, ranking 78th in that category.

On the other hand, some global cities might offer expatriates lower living costs and potentially a higher quality of life.

For instance, Barcelona, Spain, ranks 75th for the highest cost of living but 47th for the best quality of life.

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