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Global Work Glossary

What defines a paid holiday?

Paid holiday, also known as statutory or annual leave, allows workers to take paid time off while continuing to receive income. The entitlement to paid holiday varies worldwide, with each country having its legislation and entitlements.

  1. United Kingdom (UK):
  • Paid holiday, known as statutory or annual leave, enables eligible workers to take paid time off, including bank and public holidays.
  • Employers may treat public holidays and statutory leave as separate entitlements.
  1. United States (US):
  • Some employers voluntarily provide paid holidays in addition to vacation days and sick leave, allowing workers to observe federal, state, and religious holidays.
  • Employers can choose to offer floating holidays, which employees can use for various cultural or religious events.
  1. Austria:
  • Workers are entitled to 25 days of paid annual leave and 13 public holidays, totaling 38 days of paid holiday.

Eligibility for Paid Holiday

Eligibility for paid holiday depends on various factors, including region, seniority, number of days worked, and length of employment.

  1. UK:
  • Almost all workers, including full-time, part-time, agency workers, and those on irregular hours or zero-hours contracts, are entitled to 5.6 weeks of paid holiday annually.
  1. US:
  • Paid holiday time is not governed by federal or state law. Employers can choose whether to provide paid days off as an employee benefit.

Rate of Holiday Pay

Holiday pay rates vary based on local employment laws, company policies, and terms of employment.

  • Workers typically receive at least their regular rate of pay during paid holidays.
  • Employers may choose to increase pay, such as offering double-time and a half.
  • Some countries, like Mexico and Brazil, require employers to pay a holiday bonus.
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