Every once in a while I get an email from the Swedish American Heritage Council. Or is it the American Swedish Heritage Council? Or the Swedish American Historical Society? Anyway, as much as I hate to admit it (at least, to my mom), I typically hit the delete button when one of these messages shows up in my inbox. A couple weeks ago, however, when I received the latest installment, I was immediately drawn to these paragraphs about vacation time in Sweden:
The individual Swedish worker enjoys benefits, by law or by union contract, that include five weeks of paid holiday, paid time off for illness or child-care, 16 months of paid parental leave, regulated working hours, overtime compensation and pension benefits.
Vacations and holidays are covered by legislation. All employees in Sweden are entitled to a minimum five-week paid annual leave, after the first year of employment. Normally, vacations are taken so employees can have four consecutive weeks off. Traditionally, vacations have been taken in July, which means that many companies all but close down operations in that month. However, in recent years, because of the much stronger international business environment, full operations continue through the summer, while employees take vacations at other times of year.
Vacation time can be accumulated up to one week per year for a five-year period. This means an employee could be entitled to a maximum of ten weeks vacation. Sweden also has twelve public holidays per year.
All I can say is, it must be nice.