British workers will still have the least entitlement to holidays in the European Union – even after new rights to paid leave come in.
At the moment British workers are entitled to a minimum of 20 days’ holiday a year. This is to increase to 28 days by April 2009, under regulatory changes that will prevent firms from counting public holidays as part of annual leave.
A new report by Incomes Data Services shows that other EU countries have much higher minimum standards when it comes to paid leave.
German workers have 39 days a year, including public holidays, Austrians 38 and Swedes 36. Workers in Slovakia, Luxembourg and France have 35 days holiday a year, Portugal 34, the Czech Republic 33 and Romania 30.
The British also work some of the longest hours in Europe. New Labour continues to opt out of a European directive that imposes a maximum 48 hour working week.