Libmonster ID: SE-369
Author(s) of the publication: OKSANA ANTONETS

This year we will have 14 extra days of rest. Is this good or bad for the country's economy? Our views differ. In winter, you can often hear politicians and economists saying that a long weekend is an unacceptable luxury, resulting in huge losses for the national economy. Opponents argue that rest is a guarantee of the employee's physical and mental health, while a more efficient workforce is a boon for the economy. What do the statistics say?

Contrary to popular belief, Russia is not the leader in the number of days of paid rest. Yes, we have a lot of holidays, but as far as recreation is concerned, there are better countries. According to Mercer Human Resource Consulting, Austria and Malta are the most "idle" countries - with 38 days of rest a year (including public holidays, as well as holidays excluding weekends paid by the employer). But Canada and the Philippines are countries of forced workaholics: there are only 19 and 20 days of rest here, respectively. Russia in the Mercer rating with 32 days of rest (vacation 20 working days and 12 weekends-holidays in 2011) is placed in the middle next to the Czech Republic, Latvia, Morocco and Malaysia.

There is no correlation between the level of economic development of a country and the number of days of paid rest. In the southernmost country in Europe, Malta, per capita in 2011 accounted for 21.2 thousand dollars of national gross product. In Austria, which shares the Maltese love of recreation, - 49.6 thousand dollars. Almost the same amount - 50.3 thousand - in Canada. Despite the fact that they rest there twice as much. But the Philippines shows a sad 2.4 thousand dollars of GDP per capita. Some successful states do not even consider it necessary to provide citizens with a long vacation. So, in the United States, there is no statutory minimum leave paid by the employer, and 10% of companies use this opportunity to avoid paying extra. Firms that are more loyal to the staff are willing to pay an employee 10 or even 15 days of vacation. But such disregard for occupational safety and health is not very common: in 39 of the 62 countries covered by the Mercer study, people rest for 30 days or more during the year.

By the way, the International Labor Organization from the very beginning of its existence tried to convince companies that an employee who has enough free time to relax from everyday routine duties, communicate with his family and his interests, will demonstrate increased labor productivity. This view is now shared in most developed countries, especially in Europe. Here, the duration of working hours is legally limited and a mandatory time of continuous rest is established. However, judging by three dozen OECD countries, there is no obvious correlation between the ability to have plenty of rest and the level of labor productivity. If you take the size of GDP per hour worked in the United States as 100%, then in Luxembourg, labor productivity will be 130%, and in Portugal-54%, although in both countries citizens have 35 days of rest a year in addition to weekends. In Greece and Poland, which are "idle" for 37 days a year, labor productivity is 54 and 43% of the American level. In Russia, this figure does not reach 36%. A well-rested Russian clearly needs something else to demonstrate high labor productivity...

Rested? Now get to work

Rest days and labor productivity(2011 data)

* Labor productivity in the United States is taken as 100

Source: Mercer, OECD


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OKSANA ANTONETS, REST DIMENSIONS. Paid vacation is not only pleasant, but also useful // Stockholm: Swedish Digital Library (LIBRARY.SE). Updated: 22.06.2024. URL: https://library.se/m/articles/view/REST-DIMENSIONS-Paid-vacation-is-not-only-pleasant-but-also-useful (date of access: 22.07.2024).

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