Paid vacations in the US

Just read in the Huff Post US that theUS is the only industrialised country which dos not guarantee its workers paid vacations.

As an Aussie, I find that astounding. Will some one explain rationally, why that is the case?

.New Zealand is called “The land of the long white cloud”

Australia is called"The land of the long week end". In fact, Monday June 10 is a national public holiday in Oz. The Queen’s Official birthday, I think. The state of Victoria has a public holiday for The Melbourne Cup, the biggest horse race on the Australian calendar . Not to be outdone, a few years ago, one of our pork barrelling politicians gave South Australia a public holiday for the Adelaide Cup, an relatively insignificant horse race.

Fully paid vacations; If you are a full time employee, you are entitled to 20 days a year fully paid vacation. As far as I’m aware, casual employees do not get any paid holidays. Theoretically, casual rates are meant to be higher to allow for that.

‘Long Service Leave’ was first introduced in Australia in 1860, available to Civil servants only . Apparently, the idea was to allow these men to go home to England fora visit. . Until 1970, female members of the Australian Civil Service had to resign once they were married.

The Act has been modified over the years, and varies a bit between states, but not in principle.

In South Australia; A full time employee, government or private so is entitled to 13 WEEKS fully paid leave, after 10 years of service. Pro rata payment is due after 7 years should an employee leave.

Long service leave continues to accrues at 9 days a year for every year after ten years. It maybe taken immediately it becomes due, or at any other time ,at the discretion of the employee, not the employer.

I just did a bit of searching; apparently, the national cost of Long service leave in 2002 was 16.5 $billion.

OF course I’m aware that many people see the Australian paid vacation system as overly generous. I see it as just.

YES Australia has some socialist-type benefits, but none which are incompatible with a democracy.

Requiring private businesses to provide extra benefits to employees is antithetical to Republican ideals. Any regulations on business at all, tend to be opposed by Republicans. Republicans (and some Democrats) would probably not get elected without massive donations from persons with business interests. Our Supreme Court, even before it became right-winged stacked as much as it is now, declared that Corporations are People (i.e. have the right to contribute to campaigns) and that Money=Speech (i.e., as much money as corporations or anyone else wants to use to spread their own political beliefs is allowed).

Hence pro-social policies tend to take a back seat to pro-business policies.

“Hence pro-social policies tend to take a back seat to pro-business policies.”

Here too, although to what degree still depends a bit on which party is in power.

Until our its neo liberalism in the 1980’s, our Labor Party was always about social justice for workers. The Liberal-Country Parties coalition was for silver tails and farmers. Today it is centrist. No more left wing than the Liberal party has traditionally been,

The Labor party was founded as the political arm of the Trade Union Movement. The turning point, as I see it ,was after the 1975 dismissal of the elected Labor Government by the Governor General. He/ she is the representative of Queen Elizabeth ,who still remains our Head of State, not the elected head of government.

People of my generation and political leanings have never forgotten or forgiven. We deeply want Australia to be a republic. That requires a referendum, to change the constitution. The Conservatives have managed to block that up to now. Last time they simply worded the question of the referendum in such a way that no ono wanted what they proposed.


The Wiki article below will appall the average American.

“The 1975 Australian constitutional crisis, also known simply as the Dismissal, has been described as the greatest political and constitutional crisis in Australian history. It culminated on 11 November 1975 with the dismissal from office of the Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam of the Australian Labor Party (ALP), by Governor-General Sir John Kerr, who then commissioned the Leader of the Opposition, Malcolm Fraser of the Liberal Party, as caretaker Prime Minister.”

I think it’s unnecessary as most employers in the US offer paid vacation time which increases the longer you’re on the job. The probable exception is part-time employment.

Many Americans today don’t even take their full vacation time either because they’re workaholics and/or the cost of living has increased while pay rates have not.

Ultimately I guess you could chalk it up to the fact that many Americans are hustlers by nature and the idea of having ridiculously long vacations doesn’t appeal to many of us.

In just about all of my vocational life, before retiring, I was bad about using vacation time. I would accrue far more than I would use. Partly because I wanted the money more than the time off (AND vacation days could theoretically be paid upon leaving the employment. This could be a helpful cushion in case of losing employment.). Also, in the organizations that I worked with, it was not expected or required for people to use vacation time, and it was often a hassle to prepare for and then make up for time taken off. If Americans made enough money, and vacations were a basic part of the social order as in most European states, such that businesses purposefully structured them in, I think a lot of Americans would go for it, and be healthier for it.

" If Americans made enough money, and vacations were a basic part of the social order as in most European states, such that businesses purposefully structured them in, I think a lot of Americans would go for it, and be healthier for it."

Yair-----and just think about what it would do for your tourist industry! My wife andI used to have ‘mental health weekends’. We would leave home about 10 am Saturday and drive 50-100 miles, to one of our great wine producing areas. Visit a few wineries, taste some wine, buy some . Stay an old local hotel. Have dinner, leave to go home around 11 am Sunday–not something one does with children…

One-to-one, the US has far fewer of nothing for miles and miles except miles an miles than Oz .Our continent is pretty much empty (in comparison) once you get away from the coast… I’ve seen a lot of my country by land, and it was terrific. However, I could spend years exploring the US; it’s a stunningly beautiful and interesting country, of which I’ve seen almost nothing…