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Americans Living in Europe on How Easy It is to Take Pto: ‘I Am Still Getting Used to 30 Days of Vacation’

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The U.S. is notorious for its abysmal stance on providing paid time off to workers.

It’s the only advanced economy in the world that doesn’t have federal laws requiring paid leave for vacations or sick time, and as a result, many rely on policies that vary by employer. When left up to businesses, the average American worker gets just 11 days of paid vacation in their first year at a company, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That bumps up to 15 days after five years of service, but pales in comparison to what’s legally mandated in many other countries around the world.

In a culture that prizes productivity, even workers who do get vacation days often leave them on the table. But for some people, the chance to move abroad, particularly to Europe, comes with a whole new outlook on taking paid time off from work.

Krys Elexandra, 26, lived in Arizona and moved to Germany 18 months ago to explore Europe and because of her strong interest in German culture. She works in supervisory administration and financial guidance.

Elexandra is entitled to 30 paid days off in Germany and was surprised to find it’s “extremely easy” to request time off.

Her longest vacation was a three-week stint to South Korea, and as it turns out, the most helpful thing she did at work to prepare was to provide transparency to the rest of her team, she tells CNBC Make It.

“Many times, when we take vacation in the United States, it’s something that we consider private,” she says. “In Germany, I was very vocal on where I was going and for how long so if anyone had any questions or was concerned about my absence, they knew why I would not be available for an extended amount of time.”

By the time she returned, she found “easing back into work was fairly easy. Almost all of the employees I work with were notified so my workload was paused until I returned.”

Source : CNBC

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