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American workers less likely to have paid time off

Posted on May 31st, 2013 Read time: 1 minutes

American employers are most likely to be unable to provide paid time off compared to 20 other nations, according to a recent study. Employee benefits administrations may want to take note.

The Center for Economic and Policy Research found the U.S. is the only nation that does not legally require employers to provide workers with paid vacation time. The study examined the labor laws of 21 countries and concluded almost a quarter of the American workforce do not receive paid holidays or time off. The only nation that provides less vacation time than the U.S. was Japan. 

While 77 percent of employers do offer the option, small businesses are often unable to provide paid leave for employees. Low-income workers are more likely to not get paid time off than their higher-paid counterparts, with less than half receiving the benefit.

One of the reasons for U.S. workers are not receiving the benefit is due to law. The European Union requires all employers in member countries to accommodate paid time off for staff, with the minimum of 20 days of paid vacation each year. Because the U.S. has yet to legally ensure all employees get time off, even for federal holidays, it may continue to be the only advanced economy not guaranteeing paid time off.

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