How much time do we actually work for?

weekend-holiday-no-more-work-300If it’s Olympic year, then it’s Leap Year! And when 29th February comes along, it means of course we’re effectively working an extra day between paydays in the shortest month.

But how much time do we spend working in the UK, compared to other countries?  Some research suggests that many of us work longer hours than we need to. A TUC study in February 2015 found that one in five (20.3 per cent) regularly work extra hours for no pay, with almost £32 billion of unpaid overtime in 2014.

In terms of annual leave, how does the UK rank?
In total, most employees are entitled to 28 days leave a year – which currently comprises 20 statutory (including pro-rata time off for part-time or temporary staff) and eight paid public holidays.

It’s worth comparing this to some other countries – in Austria, for example, employees get 25 days holiday (30 if they’ve been there longer than 25 years) as well as 13 paid public holidays.

France is often considered to be one of the more generous countries in terms of work/life balance.  Employees get 5 weeks basic holiday, plus up to 15 days extra if they work more than 35 hours a week (up to a maximum of 39).

On the other side of the coin, in Japan employees are entitled to just 10 days statutory annual leave, going up by an extra day after each year and a half of service – and public holidays are not legally bound to be paid leave.

Finally, in the United States there is actually no statutory minimum holiday entitlement – it’s all down to the employer. The average annual leave for an employee of a private company is 10 days after a year, going up to 14 days after 5 years.

So maybe it’s not so bad working that extra day in February after all!


Competition: To take part in the Facebook Leap Year competition you must (i) ‘Like’ the Experian UK Facebook page (if you are not already a fan); (ii) Comment below the Facebook image post entitled “Leap Year 2016” to be in with a chance to win a voucher for the average UK salary of £105.50. Winner chosen at random. T’s and C’s apply.

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