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Vacation Days (or lack thereof)

Vacation Days (or lack thereof)

Old May 24th 2016, 11:11 pm
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Default Vacation Days (or lack thereof)

Hi All,
Been living in the US just over 4 years now and live a mostly content lifestyle. America definitely feels "easier" to live in despite the challenges of healthcare and filing taxes.

That said, 10 days off a year is killing me. I went back to Europe for a friends wedding and to see my family, that was all my time gone.

How do others cope with this? I am now looking for new jobs simply because I don't want to be beholden to the US vacation allowances.

Has anyone had any luck negotiating something more acceptable like 5 weeks?
Thanks

Ned
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Old May 25th 2016, 2:51 am
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Default Re: Vacation Days (or lack thereof)

While US vacation allowances are generally poor, it does vary a lot by industry. My company's rules reach as high as six weeks vacation plus 9 public holidays, for people with more than 30 years of experience in the oil industry. I currently have four weeks.
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Old May 25th 2016, 3:01 am
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Default Re: Vacation Days (or lack thereof)

It just depends on the company. The engineering company I work for gives 2 weeks a year to start, and you can roll that over as the years go on until you cap out at something like 6 months accrued!

I've been there 26 years and I accrue 5 weeks a year now. I can't use it all.

Rene
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Old May 25th 2016, 3:19 am
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Default Re: Vacation Days (or lack thereof)

Originally Posted by ned1983 View Post
Hi All,
Been living in the US just over 4 years now and live a mostly content lifestyle. America definitely feels "easier" to live in despite the challenges of healthcare and filing taxes.

That said, 10 days off a year is killing me. I went back to Europe for a friends wedding and to see my family, that was all my time gone.

How do others cope with this? I am now looking for new jobs simply because I don't want to be beholden to the US vacation allowances.

Has anyone had any luck negotiating something more acceptable like 5 weeks?
Thanks

Ned
I don't think it will be easy to find anywhere that gives 5 weeks right away.
I left UK when two weeks was standard, so it didn't impact me so much.
You can take leave of absence and hope you don't get sick, and they will take you back. Self employed or a job that has lots of slack time. basically you are stuck with it. Teaching perhaps.
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Old May 25th 2016, 4:36 am
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Default Re: Vacation Days (or lack thereof)

Yep, the holiday allowance sucks. As does maternity, paternity and paid sick leave. Not to mention that obligatory jury duty also comes out of your holiday days.

The companies that my husband has worked for have all seemed to be of the attitude that he basically belongs to them and isn't entitled to any time off at all. They expect almost instantaneous responses to work emails at times including, but not limited to, while on holiday in Hawaii, at midnight on a weekday, and at 3pm on Superbowl Sunday. I don't know whether it's America, the industry he's in, or just a sign of the times, but it drives me up the wall.
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Old May 25th 2016, 5:37 am
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Default Re: Vacation Days (or lack thereof)

Start ups and tech companies usually give more: my OH had 20 days from the outset which, for US standards, has to be one of the best deals in the country. While he used all of his, he said most of his US colleagues barely took a day off and some even said they were saving it because when they leave the company they have to pay you out for the unused holidays.

They recently switched to unlimited...which may sound good but in reality you can take time off 'at your manager's discretion' rather than actually being contractually entitled to it.
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Old May 25th 2016, 12:32 pm
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Default Re: Vacation Days (or lack thereof)

Rules for my company are quite scary, New starts get 5 days a year, this goes up to 10 after 5 years. You cannot book any vacation in your first year, shop floor (unionized) can accumulate their holiday, some of my staff take no vacation for 2 or 3 years then take the whole lot!


I got lucky as a manager with seniority from another company, I got 10 days straight away woohoo! The bizarre thing is managers vacation is used on a trust basis, we fill no forms in, no deduction from your vacation allowance, the assumption is you will only use 10. But the amount still sucks!!

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Old May 25th 2016, 1:51 pm
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Default Re: Vacation Days (or lack thereof)

Our company has just moved to a 'take what you need' policy. It will be reviewed after the first year but it's an interesting approach for a smaller company.
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Old May 25th 2016, 2:16 pm
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Default Re: Vacation Days (or lack thereof)

Originally Posted by Sheepdip View Post
Our company has just moved to a 'take what you need' policy. It will be reviewed after the first year but it's an interesting approach for a smaller company.
I am willing to bet that it will turn out that it wasn't as abused as many may think it will be.

I got used to the US vacation allowances though. Coming from 25 days and adjusting to 5 was a bit of a struggle at first, but I was actually bumped up to 10 days earlier than I should have been (can't remember why now) and I was able to strike something of a balance once I got to that amount.

When I moved to this job, they started me at 10 because I already had that allowance. I'm about to hit 4 years in September, when they'd usually move you up to 10 days, so I am pretty sure I'll get 15 this year instead but that will max me out as well.

It is what it is. I get 3 personal days and 3 sick days too, plus 6 'bank holidays', so if you're creative with when you take time off, it can be OK most of the time.
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Old May 25th 2016, 2:21 pm
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Default Re: Vacation Days (or lack thereof)

I'm in tech and we have an unlimited PTO policy. In practice you can take around four weeks (exclusive of the federal holidays the company observes) and no-one minds - the more notice you give, the easier it is of course.
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Old May 25th 2016, 3:09 pm
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Default Re: Vacation Days (or lack thereof)

Originally Posted by ned1983 View Post

How do others cope with this? I am now looking for new jobs simply because I don't want to be beholden to the US vacation allowances.

Has anyone had any luck negotiating something more acceptable like 5 weeks?
Thanks
Some folks who can, bounce around jobs, taking time off in between, while others just suck it up for a bunch of years till they get into a position that accrues more time off.

Nothing hurts by trying to negotiate more time off when you go for a job, might work, might not. All depends on the seniority of the position and how much they want you.

Where the missus works, they have a flat band that people get and they won't negotiate for any one below VP level. She's on a old contract that's grandfathered an awful lot of time off though, so in theory, quite lucky but the reality is, not been able to take the time off to the point that she's had to bin about 30 days in the last two years, which they don't pay out for.

Where I'm at, get 44 hours a quarter, which is a recent thing, it was as much as you wanted previously as long as you worked a minimum number of hours a quarter. I've been at other places who have been very generous, but that was only because in the end, they paid shit money and you ended up working 60-80 hours a week without extra compensation to get a project out the door :/
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Old May 25th 2016, 3:09 pm
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Default Re: Vacation Days (or lack thereof)

Hubby had four weeks when he transferred over with his old company; his new one gave him three weeks as a new starter. In practice, as he's fairly senior he can largely do what he wants as long as the work gets done.

He's taking two weeks this summer to go back to the UK/ Europe (the kids and I are having a longer wraparound trip of a month). He's in the thick of a longterm software project that's launching in August, and people have been admiringly commenting on his dedication to the company, as his two weeks in June will dovetail exactly with a bit of the project that doesn't need actively managing by him. They think he's flexing his holiday plans to suit the needs of the project, whereas for weeks now he's been steering the deliverables dates to suit our June vacation
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Old May 25th 2016, 3:14 pm
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Default Re: Vacation Days (or lack thereof)

Originally Posted by SultanOfSwing View Post
I am willing to bet that it will turn out that it wasn't as abused as many may think it will be.
Yeah, I've a couple of mates who work at companies like that and they've said people take even less time off because they don't want to be seen as slackers or non-team players, who are the first to be laid off at the end of project issues.

Bollocks to that. Bollocks to the pride of being a company team player who has never taken a day off in years.
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Old May 25th 2016, 3:16 pm
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Default Re: Vacation Days (or lack thereof)

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
Yeah, I've a couple of mates who work at companies like that and they've said people take even less time off because they don't want to be seen as slackers or non-team players, who are the first to be laid off at the end of project issues.

Bollocks to that. Bollocks to the pride of being a company team player who has never taken a day off in years.
It's not even that, it was more that most people will be happy taking maybe 3 weeks on average, rather than 6 or more. Gets to the point where a kind of equilibrium is reached.

Sort of like how when a speed limit is raised from 55 to 65, the average speed is still 70
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Old May 25th 2016, 3:28 pm
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Default Re: Vacation Days (or lack thereof)

Originally Posted by SultanOfSwing View Post
Sort of like how when a speed limit is raised from 55 to 65, the average speed is still 70
Not around here
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