European Union holiday entitlements vary greatly

Holiday entitlement varies by up to 16 days a year among countries in the European Union (EU).

Minimum statutory annual leave and public holidays combined range from as many as 44 days in Finland to just 28 in the UK, Romania and the Netherlands, according to research primarily based on information from Mercer Human Resource Consulting’s Worldwide Benefit & Employment Guidelines (WBEG) reports.

The average length of leave and public holiday entitlements across all 27 EU states is 34 days, with little difference between Eastern and Western Europe.

Mark Sullivan, worldwide partner at Mercer HR Consulting, said: “Holiday entitlements are a lottery, with some countries offering over 60% more days off than others. Even though efforts have been made to harmonise employment practices in the EU, there are still large disparities in holiday allowances between the member states.”

The figures were based on statutory entitlements for an employee working five days a week, with 10 years’ service.