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5 Countries That Guarantee Workers the Most Time Off
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March 5, 2020
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Travel Trivia Editorial
europe

Are we only here to clock in and clock out? Not according to these five countries, that believe in a proper work-life balance that incorporates plenty of vacation time to decompress and recharge. If you feel overworked, you'll want to ask your office to transfer you to one of these countries.

France (25 Days)

Colorful Parisian street
Credit: DaLiu/ iStock

These five weeks of paid vacation are only the beginning, since there are also 10 national holidays. France also offers generous maternity and paternity leave, and some French companies take it upon themselves to sweeten the pot by offering even more paid vacation.

France has one of the highest average salaries in the EU (over $3,300 per month), but it also has one of the highest unemployment rates. It's improving, though, and there is a demand for skilled workers. It's also one of the top three countries for teacher pay. Between the country's 35-hour work week, vacation policy, and average salary, France was recently chosen as the best European country to work in.

Djibouti (25 Days)

Busy street in Djibouti
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In Djibouti, you're guaranteed 25 days of paid vacation along with 10 public holidays. Many people seek government jobs, as those tend to offer the best job security. There is very little work available in the fields of agriculture or manufacturing. Unfortunately, unemployment was estimated at a staggering 40 percent in 2017.

What can you do with all that time off in Djibouti? Soccer and running are popular if you'd like to take up a sport. The rugged terrain is also nice for hiking. Air Djibouti offers a variety of regional flights if you'd like to spend your vacation traveling in the area.

Denmark (25 Days)

Houses, canal, and boats in Old Town Copenhagen
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A new bill that goes into effect in September guarantees the 25 days of paid leave and ensures that employees can take it in the same year they accrue it. Mothers can take four weeks of maternity leave prior to birth and another 14 weeks after, all paid. Fathers get two weeks off during that time, and the parents can split another 32 paid weeks off. If you need some help with the math, that's a total of 52 weeks of paid leave within the family for the birth of a child. Danish laws dictate that those 52 weeks might not be at full salary, but they will be paid.

There are also a handful of national holidays you will enjoy from the comfort of home. This is only part of what makes it so great to work, or even simply exist, in Denmark. Denmark was also ranked number two on the 2019 list of happiest countries in the world. Vacation time is part of that, along with a strong sense of community, a stable government, and supportive social programs.

Whatever you do with your long vacation, it's bound to be hygge, the Danish value of coziness and comfort that has become an international buzzword and lifestyle goal.

Brazil (30 Days)

Bahia, Brazil city and water
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Ah, yes, six would-be workweeks to enjoy caipirinhas on the beach. While Brazil offers a generous amount of vacation time, there are some stipulations. For example, your allotted vacation decreases if you have a certain number of "unjustified absences," which could include any absence not related to military service or a death, marriage, or birth in the family, among other things.

If you'd prefer, 10 of your eligible vacation days can be converted into extra pay instead. As far as when you take your vacation, it's partly determined by the employer. There are also eight national holidays and a selection of local holidays. If your particular line of work is essential, even on Christmas or Our Lady of Aparecida Day, you'll either be paid double or offered a different day off.

Kuwait (30 Days)

Kuwait city scene at dusk
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Six weeks of paid vacation plus 14 national holidays allow for plenty of time to travel or binge Netflix if you're an employee in Kuwait. There are also no personal income taxes in Kuwait, making it an ideal place to live and work, especially if you don't mind "intensely hot summers." Paid maternity leave starts 30 days before delivery and lasts 45 days after, though new mamas can take another 100 days of unpaid leave.