“Spanish workers have no problem ditching their jobs for an entire month every year, given that they have a statutory minimum of 22 paid vacation days according to the OECD. When the country’s 14 public holidays are added to that allowance, workers are able to enjoy 36 days of paid leave every year.”
Many Americans don’t even get a full weekend off
While people in Spain and France hit the beaches en-masse for weeks on end during the summer, odds are that most Americans who aren’t self-employed will still be stuck at their desks.
Go back 200, 300, or 400 years and you find that most people did not work very long hours at all. In addition to relaxing during long holidays, the medieval peasant took his sweet time eating meals, and the day often included time for an afternoon snooze.
“The tempo of life was slow, even leisurely; the pace of work relaxed,” notes Shor. “Our ancestors may not have been rich, but they had an abundance of leisure.”
Medieval peasants lived grueling, terrible lives. But their vacation days beat out the policies now common even in progressive societies.
Thanks to the internet and an international perspective, we Americans can now measure how much we’re being shafted. #blessed
The US is the only wealthy nation that doesn’t guarantee paid-time off. Business Insider spoke with a handful of people whose governments do.