Around the world, employees struggle with their work-life balance—especially now that many companies have realized the benefits of remote work. Paid vacation days and public holidays certainly help the issue, though paid time off varies greatly.
Some countries have laws providing ample minimum annual paid vacation and holiday days. But others offer none or leave it up to employers.
Which countries offer the most PTO? And how do they compare to those with the least? Let’s find out on the map below, which shows paid vacation days, paid public holidays, and the total combined, including UK vacation days and vacation time in Europe.
View Paid vacation days by country in a full screen map
Countries’ paid vacation days range from zero (seven countries) to 31 days (just one). These are the minimum mandatory vacation days for an employee with one year of service to the same employer. Let’s start on a positive note with the countries that offer the most paid vacation days:
- Andorra – 31 paid vacation days per year
- Algeria – 30
- Bahrain – 30
- Burkina Faso – 30
- Equatorial Guinea – 30
- Kuwait – 30
- Panama – 30
- Peru – 30
- United Arab Emirates – 30
- Malta – 27
These ten countries offer at least 27 paid vacation days, though many more—like Andorra—provide up to 31 days each year. Andorra even goes so far as to mandate that one period of leave must last two weeks or more, to allow an uninterrupted rest period for employees.
In addition to Andorra, employees in Malta are entitled to quite a few paid vacation days, making the average vacation time in Europe (at least, Southern Europe) seem impressive.
However, more countries located in the Persian Gulf’s Arab states provide the most paid vacation days: Bahrain, Kuwait, and United Arab Emirates tie for the second-highest number. And it’s the same case for Africa’s Algeria, Burkina Faso, and Equatorial Guinea.
Ironically, while Burkina Faso boasts 30 days of paid vacation days, nearby Nigeria offers employees far less PTO, as we’ll see below.
When it comes to the least paid vacation days, seven countries have zero mandatory days:
- Marshall Islands
- United States
The U.S. certainly stands out among the rest of these smaller island countries. Notably, Tonga’s government is working to create laws for paid vacation time. But there’s still no federal or state statutory minimum paid vacation (or paid public holidays) in the United States.
Instead, paid leave is at the discretion of the employers. Reportedly, 77% of private employers offer paid vacation to their employees, though some employers still offer no vacation at all. The average number of paid vacation days for full-time employees is 10 days after 1 year of service, 14 days after 5 years, 17 days after 10 years, and 20 days after 20 years.
And while not zero, Taiwanese employees only earn 3 paid vacation days each year. Similarly, China, Nigeria, and the Philippines offer just five. Now let’s see how many countries provide paid public holidays.
In addition to vacation days, public holidays are also often paid. Of the countries that mandate paid public holidays (10 offer none), the average is 12.21 days. Let’s see which places are home to the most paid holidays on the following table.
|Country||Paid public holidays|
Cambodia and Iran’s 27 paid public holidays are more than double the average. Along with Cambodia, employees in two more Asian countries (Sri Lanka and Hong Kong) can take paid holidays in the double-digits. Moreover, the three countries in South America (Argentina, Suriname, and Colombia) boast similar benefits.
For the countries with the least paid public holidays (hint: the U.S. makes another appearance), select the “Paid public holidays” group on the map and opt for the “0” range.
You can also see the Total paid leave (paid vacation days and paid public holidays combined) when you check out that group. See what insights map grouping can offer you when you make your own map at batchgeo.com.