When I lived in Australia, I had four weeks vacation time every year to start. This did not count federal and state holidays.
Then there is (was?) long-service leave where if you were with one employer for seven to ten years, you were entitled for an additional three months off, above and beyond your annual four weeks or more. LSL was available only one every seven to ten years. I knew folks who saved up their annual leave as much as they could and when they became eligible for LSL, took world vacations – with full pay – for six months or more.
Who did their work while they were gone? Other staff members filled in, the work didn’t get done, and/or the boss hired someone to cover.
The only think that irked me with vacation and holidays were the holidays. While there are nation-wide holidays not all states celebrated them at the same time. In a small population country like Australia, but geographically as large as CONUS, quite a bit of my work depended upon working with folks in other states. But with different holiday dates among the states, some days I could do very little work because my colleague(s) in others states had the day off, and vice versa.
On top of that, the state I was based (South Australia) has a state law stating all Sundays are automatically state holidays and it’s not legal to stack holidays on top of each other. The classic example is Easter Sunday. Since Sundays in SA are already holidays (by law), one cannot “celebrate” Easter as a holiday in its own right on Easter Sunday. So we had to have the Easter Monday holiday to compensate. When you add in Easter Friday (Good Friday) is a holiday, too, actual work tends to go down during that period.
All in all, I once calculated that among all the various holidays celebrated nationwide, there were more than 40 business days (Monday to Friday) lost annually because someone I worked with interstate was off on a holiday while I had to work, or vice versa. Add in my personal four weeks vacation (minimum) and already 12 weeks are gone in any given year to accomplish work. When you add in the month of January when businesses slow down because so many close down, cut another four weeks off the business calendar.
It’s hard getting anything done when so many people are off work on vacation and/or holidays.