It’s safe to say that Canadians work pretty hard.
On average, we spend just under 40 hours per week at the office (or other workplace) before we come home and just want to flop on the couch. Of course, we can’t, because life.
You cruise through the 9-5 grind so much, you probably don’t even know when your last vacation was. But this is work, it’s supposed to be hard and not fun at all, right? While we seem to be sticking to that mentality pretty firmly here in North America, other countries are trying out a very different approach. Here are some labour laws we found around the world that’ll probably make you pretty jealous:
Seven labour laws from around the world that will make you want to move
The Netherlands: 4-day workweeksGo ahead, hit that snooze button. The Netherlands is home to the shortest workweek in the world, with the average one lasting 30.1 hours in 2014, according to OECD. That means the Dutch effectively work 4-day weeks! ThinkStock
Austria: You have to go on VacationAfter six months of employment, every employee in Austria is legally entitled to an annual paid vacation amounting to 30 working days (Saturday is considered a working day, FYI). But it gets better! This right only applies to people who have been employed for less than 25 years. After that, the entitlement increases to 36 working days annually. Employees continue to receive full salary during these times. ThinkStock
Sweden: Generous mat leaveSweden gives new parents a whopping 480 days of paid parental leave when a child is born or adopted. For 390 days, those parents receive 80 per cent of their normal salary; the remaining 90 days are paid at a flat rate. Good luck getting that in Canada!ThinkStock
Sweden: Non-stop holidaysWhile not about labour laws per se, it's also worth noting that Sweden has 15 public holidays. That's three workweeks' worth of them. Canada, meanwhile, has eight. No wonder you're always feeling that crash come Christmas time.Getty
Belgium: Career breaksIn Belgium, leaving your job to travel the world isn't considered a gutsy thing to do. In fact, it's a right. The country has something called "career breaks," which allow employees to take up to one year off. During this time the employee will be paid their full wage and will also get a guarantee that their job will take them back. The rest is up to the worker -- they can do whatever they want with the time. They don't even have to use it all at once (alternatively, the break can even offset hours at work). But once that year is gone, it's gone. ThinkStock
Australia: FlexitimeFor those who have good work days and bad work days, Australia might be for you. Most employees in the country have the option of using "Flexitime," which allows them to bank accumulated overtime hours and exchange them for the equivalent amount of time off. In other words, work 8 hours of overtime and score yourself a free day! It's been implemented formally in the Australian Federal Public Service.ThinkStock
Germany: A right to partyGermans already enjoy relatively short working hours and take advantage of generous vacation entitlements and mat leave, but they also understand that young people have a right to enjoy their youth. That's why young employees are banned from working on Saturdays (in most circumstances, anyway), so that they can "study." Getty