Thursday, 18 August 2011


EU must be joking!

England has the least number of paid and public holidays across Europe

As our European neighbours begin their August escapes, research released today by reveals discrepancies in paid and public holiday entitlements across Europe. When looking at both statutory annual leave and public holiday allowances across the EU, it’s the English who come bottom of the table, with a minimum of only 28 days holiday when compared to residents of Sweden and Portugal, who benefit from 39 days in total.

Of the 12 nations surveyed, the hotel expert revealed the average leave and public holiday entitlement to be 34 days across Europe, meaning UK workers lose out on over a week away from the office and working at least six days more. With Ireland and the Netherlands following suit with just 29 days, it’s Denmark, parts of Germany, Portugal and Sweden doing the least work, with 38 and 39 days holiday respectively.

Despite having one of the lowest number of bank holidays on the calendar, the Danish appear to be well looked after, with 27 statutory days of annual leave ahead of Finland, France, Norway, Portugal and Sweden who all receive 25 days. Residents in the Netherlands, England, Ireland and Italy have just 20 days statutory paid annual leave, with additional entitlement at the discretion of employers.

A plethora of annual bank holidays also exist across Europe, with Portugal, Sweden, Spain and some parts of Germany topping the list with 14 days each, with holidays such as ‘Freedom Day’ (Dia da Liberdade) on April 25th in Portugal and ‘Midsummer's Day’ on June 25th in Sweden. In contrast, England has the least number of public holidays, only eight, with our patron saint’s day, St George’s Day on 23rd April not recognised with a public holiday, unlike Ireland’s St. Patrick’s Day, whose celebrations on 17th March are famous worldwide.

Alison Couper, from, said: “August is often the month when English holidaymakers typically head to continental European destinations such as France and Italy, just as residents of these countries escape themselves! The results of our research are sure to leave many thinking they’ve drawn the European short straw and wondering what they might do with the extra 11 days holiday a year if they lived and worked in Sweden or Portugal!”

Total European holiday entitlement (Click to enlarge)

For more information, please call:
Tom Antoniw or Freyja Phillips at Frank PR on 020 7693 6999 or email
Kate Hopcraft,, 020 7019 2165

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