Everyone likes a holiday, but expats are in for a shock if they expect masses of time off to enjoy themselves in some countries.
And some governments are a lot more generous than others in offering paid leave.
Expats should look to Austria and Malta as the two nations with the potential for taking the most paid time off – both with a combined 38 days of paid public and statutory holidays.
Finland is the expat destination with the most paid statutory leave of at least 30 days a year and to the surprise of most expats, Britain is second with 28 days paid holiday a year.
Other countries that rank well include Poland (26 days) and a host of countries on 25 days, including Austria, Denmark, France, Greece, Luxembourg and Sweden.
No paid leave in the US
Expats in the USA come off worst, as the nation has no statutory vacation laws.
The Phillipines are next with just five days and Thailand with six days.
There’s a sharp divide between the east and west – and even Scandinavia and the rest of Europe – when totting up holiday days.
The big winners are mostly in Europe, while the losers are Asia-Pacific nations.
After the bottom three, next come China (10), Canada (10), Indonesia (12), India (12), Vietnam (14, Singapore (14), Pakistan (14) and Hong Kong (14)
But time off is not just about statutory vacation time. Public holidays count as well.
Mexico has least public holidays
Here Columbia and India come out top with 18 days each, followed by Thailand, Lebanon and South Korea with 16 days of public festivities, while Japan, The Phillipines, Cyprus and Slovakia are next with 15 days.
Mexico is the place to avoid for paid public holidays, with just seven days allowed for recharging batteries by the government.
“People working in Europe are entitled to much more paid time off protected by law than their counterparts around the world,” said a spokesmnan for Mercer, the benefits and employment firm collating the data.
“Our report looks at the different holidays in 64 countries. Our research consider staturtory time off, which is ordered by law and something employers must comply with, and mandated paid public holidays, again dealt with by law.”
The Mercer figures are based on an employee with 10 years of service working Monday through to Friday for consistent comparisons.