Spotlight on holiday leave: Aussies outdo Asia-Pac region

by 19 Dec 2011

Australian employers offer the highest level of statutory holiday leave to employees in the Asia-Pacific region, but rank among the lowest compared to Western European countries.

Australia, along with New Zealand and Japan, offers 20 days of annual leave, far outweighing the 14 days offered in Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam and Pakistan.

Other nations in the region offer 12 days (India and Indonesia), 10 days (China), 6 days (Thailand) and 5 days (the Philippines).

The data comes from Mercer’s Worldwide Benefit and Employment Guidelines, which provides an overview of employee regulation and employment practices throughout the world.

Georgina Harley, from Mercer’s Information Product Solutions business, said holiday entitlements are an important and often undervalued part of a broader rewards strategy.

Harley said in light of scaling back bonus schemes, employers must ensure they offer staff a flexible working life, and encourage employees to redeem their annual leave entitlements.

HC recently reported that Australians have more than 129 million days of annual leave stockpiled, but much of this will never be redeemed.

Harley added that companies need to recognise that a healthy, happy workforce is a productive one and this feeds directly to the bottom line.

“A break from the daily routine is essential in maintaining employee wellbeing. It’s important to create a culture of health in the workplace so employees take the message home with them and look after their health outside work as well,” Harley said.

Stats from around the world:

  • Austrian employees get 25 days statutory holiday entitlement and 13 public holidays

  • Workers in Malta receive 24 days of holiday entitlement and 14 public holidays

  • The Philippines and Canada have the lowest entitlements – a total of 20 and 19 days, respectively.

  • Employees in Columbia have the greatest number of public holidays (18 days) while those in Mexico (7) have the least.


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  • by Takeshi 19/12/2011 2:43:47 PM

    Actually Japan is 10 days annually in your 1st year of employment. This increases 1 day per year of service with a maximum of 20.

    It is also highly unlikely that employees actually take this amount of leave unless of course you're an EX-pat or are being paid out after your resignation.

  • by Sarah 21/12/2011 6:26:04 PM

    While the number of Stat holidays are low for APAC countries,namely HK 14 - 15. They receive 16 public holidays while AU receive 9. There is only a difference of 1 -2 days.

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