Link to column: Do Americans get less vacation than…
I’m a Brazilian that has been living in the US for almost 5 years.
In Brazil, you get full 30 days of vacation after a year. The thing is, these 30 days are calendar days, not work days, and you have to take them all at once. So if you subtract the weekends and the occasional holiday, you’ll end up with only 21 to 22 actual work days if you play it right. You do get a vacation allowance, though. And you can “trade” 10 days of your vacation for money (i.e. you only take 20 calendar days).
Everything considered, I think the American system is better. With the 15 work days I get here after 2 years on my job, I can effectively take much more than 30 days of vacation, if I combine them with holidays and weekends. And I have much more flexibility (I can make 3 one-week long trips through the year, for example, which for me is much better).
Back in Brazil I’ve been sometimes forced to take money “under the table” and not take my days off. You can’t really complain about it to anyone because jobs there are much harder to find, and you don’t want to risk losing yours. Also, you have to usually wait for 2 years before you take your first vacation (you get the right for vacation AFTER one year, remember, and you have to spend the days during the following year).
NOTE: I have edited this post to add the link to the column. I have also moved it to the appropriate forum. – CKDextHavn
[Edited by C K Dexter Haven on 03-02-2001 at 11:58 AM]