HOLIDAYS & VACATION in Germany and USA

HOLIDAYS & VACATION in Germany and USA


Welcome to 2016! A brand new year has just
begun, so what time is it now in Germany? Time for everyone to look at their calendars,
figure out when and where the holidays fall this year, and then strategically plan out
their vacations around these days off. Hey everyone! I’m Dana and you’re watching
Wanted Adventure Living Abroad. In Germany there is actually only one national
public holiday and that would be October 3, German Unity Day. All of the other holidays
are technically determined state by state, although many of them, such as Christmas and
New Year’s Day are celebrated by all the states. The state with the most public holidays is
here in Bavaria, where I live, with a total of 13 holidays. Saarland and Baden-Württemberg
come in at a close second with 12, but 9 is the minimum. And of course we all feel so
bad for you if you live in one of the states with only 9. In the U.S. it gets a little bit more complicated.
So you’ve got some people who are working for the government and then you have these
so-called private sector workers, which are people who work for all the stores and companies
that are not governmental. The people who work for the government have certain holidays
off mandated by the government, and I believe that’s 10 days. The private sector workers are actually not
guaranteed any paid holidays off by law, but most U.S. businesses also observe about 6
to 10 holidays during the year, just depending on the company. The funny thing is that a
good handful of the paid days off given by the government are different from the private
sector days off. Doesn’t really help for planning a vacation with your family, but
at least they’re days off! And then, like here in Germany, there are
also state specific days off, such as yay! Rosa Parks Day in California and, oh I’m
so embarrassed to say, Lee-Jackson day in Virginia, which honors two of the Civil War
Confederate leaders, who fought to continue slavery. An interesting thing is, if you look at the
holidays in Germany and the U.S., you will quickly see a stark difference. Except for
New Year’s Day, German Unity Day, and Labor Day, all the German holidays are Christian
religious days off, whereas in the U.S. the only religious holiday is Christmas. The other
ones, for example Labor Day, Independence Day, Presidents’ Day, are all non-religious
holidays. Another interesting thing that I totally miss
and was just completely shocked to find out didn’t happen here in Germany, is that in
the U.S. if a public holiday falls on a Saturday or a Sunday, you still get a day off of work
on the Friday or the Monday. So for example, in 2016, December 25 will fall on a Sunday.
Boo! But in the U.S. it’s no a big deal because people will simply get off on Monday to make up for the fact that the holiday fell on a weekend. But something that I definitely prefer here in
Germany is the number of paid vacation days people are guaranteed in addition to the public
paid holidays. 24! People here are guaranteed a minimum of 24 paid vacation days off. That is
just so amazingly wonderful. In the U.S. there is actually no overall,
country-wide guarantee of paid vacation days. But in most offices you earn your vacation.
So after working for a year you’ve earned so and so many days off, maybe 6 or 10. And
after three years perhaps you’ve earned 14 days off. It’s different from company to company. Another difference is that in the U.S., and
again this depends on your company, but you can often carry over your vacation to the
next year. So, theoretically, you could save up your vacation from year to year, but then
at some point there’s also a maximum number of days you can carry over and take off in
a row. And in many places you can also sell your vacation days back to the company for
moolah. So if you didn’t use your vacation days by the end of the year, you can cash
out and the company will pay you for every vacation day that you didn’t use. And it’s been my experience that there’s
also a different feeling and attitude when it comes to taking vacation in the U.S. and
in Germany. In Germany taking vacation is not only allowed but it’s, it’s encouraged
or even mandatory. When I worked for a company here in Germany my boss, for example, started
sending me emails around September kind of berating me for not using all my vacation yet,
pushing me to schedule in my last days. Whereas in the U.S., in many companies, I’ve
found, that there’s this attitude that not taking vacation somehow shows that you’re
more committed to the job. People are often praised for not taking vacation, as though
it makes them a more dedicated employee than slacker Bob over there who took all his vacation
this year. Clearly Bob’s not interested in getting a raise or climbing the corporate
ladder. It’s a very different vibe here in Germany where people often start planning
their vacations at the very beginning of the year. So my question for you is: what are you going
to be doing with your holiday and vacation days this year, and if you could suggest a
new holiday that you think people should observe, what would it be? Please let me know in the
comments below. Thanks so much for watching. Please don’t
forget to subscribe and hit that like button. And also, for more fun stuff, you can check
me out over here on my Twitter and my Facebook page. Until next time, auf Wiedersehen! All
the best for 2016! Overall, country…that is a tongue twister!
Country-wide. Good handful of the paid days off govern… And then strategically plan their… And then strategically plan their…their
vacations! Is it annoying when I do this? That was a
silly question, huh?

48 thoughts on “HOLIDAYS & VACATION in Germany and USA

  1. The attitude toward vacation is changing in the US. More companies are encouraging and even mandating vacation. I have 20 day a year, and I never take all 20, I usually use 15 to 17. Just as a side note about Lee, Jackson day both General Lee and General Jackson are seen as men of character who just so happen to be on the wrong side of a conflict, and they were Virginians. The is the reason for the celebration of the day. General Lee did not like the institution of slavery, but he loved Virginia.

  2. Where's my paid 4 weeks of vacation? paid maternity or family leave? and retirement after working in one union job until age 55 to 60? No wonder Americans hate work, yet can't find jobs as easy like before. I doubt Americans can vacation on "sacrosanct" Christmas and Easter, 4th of July and Labor Day, or even on a weekend (Sat or Sun). Private enterprise is what build (and could destroy) America. What about employee health insurance benefits? Obamacare came to be because so many Americans don't have medical or health care insurance. Christmas is a federal holiday, but dedicated to the birth of a non-president or civilian religious figure: Jesus Christ. Then there's Martin Luther King Jr's birthday, which is another federal holiday for a non-president or civilian religious figure (he was a minister). +

  3. tomorrow is "Friedensfest" in Augsburg, a local holiday, remembering the "Peace of Westphalia".
    it's always confusing for truckers, that they can't unload their load within the city limit of Augsburg, while outside (Königsbrunn, Gersthofen or Friedberg) it's just a nomal labour day.

  4. you can get your days of paid of if ure not taking them in germany. but thats always causing a snafu with your taxes so its not usual.

    u didnt mention that ure normaly not payed for overtime in germany but u can take a day of or so…

  5. In Belgium its the same way, when a holiday is on a weekend, you get a day off during the week. But on the other hand, you only start out with about 20 days paid leave (you earn more year after year). So all in all there isn't much difference

  6. Not that different in my company, last year and this year i have a vacation ban during summer.
    And if i dont take my paid leave days they will expire on the 1st April on the following year.
    And 10 days of the paid leave days, the company can decide when you have take them.
    And now guess what happens when your vacation blackout period is a longer period then summer because theres to much work to do.
    You can take them where you dont need or can sacrifice them to the company. And if you ask them for paying out the remaining days its like asking a dog for his favorite bone.

  7. Please understand that Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson did not fight for slavery. They fought for their state. At that time people did not consider themselves Americans, but Virginians, North Carolinians, and so on. You need to understand the context of the history at that time. Yes, slavery was a horrible thing and as a southerner I am so thankful that the Confederacy did not win the war, but at the same time I want to honor and respect those men who fought for their state. We did not really start to consider ourselves Americans until after WW1 and I personally resent your attitude of being ashamed of Lee-Jackson Day. I really don't expect to hear back from you, but I'm sure I'll receive flak from others and they can just know that I won't respond.

  8. I always strongly encourage my employees to use their vacations and even if it makes my small business trouble (I have to find someone to work for them during they're off work and pay for that)…
    One of my employee told me she would rather not take any days off all year as she prefers to earn more money and me and my partner we were really sooo not ok with that as we worried it would definately affect the quality of her work…

  9. Actually you have 24 guaranteed days off when you are working 6 days a week. As most people have to work 5 days a week there are "just" 20 guaranteed days off 😀

  10. australia, i have 20 days leave a year earnt that i can rollover to the next year. I also earn long service leave 1 month every three years. This is on top of public holidays

  11. Who'd have thunk 2016 turned out such a dumpsterfire, after all! Let's hope for a better 2017 – hope you'll keep those vids coming…! ^^

  12. I know lots of people from Germany watch this, as do I. This isn't because I want Dana to tell nice things about my country but to see the cultural differences between the US and Germany, and it has been very informative in this regard

  13. in Trinidad and Tobago we have approximately 18 public holidays , a minimum of 14 days paid vacation, 7-14 days sick leave (in most companies) per year. but it also depends on your employer, to have access to all these benefits.

  14. I live in the U.S., and I get 10 vacation days a year. I completely agree with her that you're thought of as lazy if you actually use all your vacation days. Wonder why we often feel burnt out?

  15. not to forget.. G.W.Bush once interviewed a woman who said she wirks 3 jobs for a living.. his reaction.. "wow thats just stunning.. only possible in america!" i would have loved to junp into the screen and turn his neck a 360° turn for that….

  16. In Sweden we get 5 weeks (25 work days) a year. People either take 5 weeks off in a row during the summer, or they'll do 3-4 weeks off in the summer and use their other days throughout the year. The downside to this is that Swedish society kind of shuts down during the summer. It's very difficult to get a doctors appointment, for instance, because so many doctors are on vacation. Same thing if you need to hire a plumber, electrician etc, very difficult to get a hold of one between June 1 and August 31 with July being the most popular vacation month.

  17. The German law on vacations is kind of complicated.. The Bundesurlaubsgsetz (Federal Law on Vacations)provides anyone 24 days off based on a 6-day-week. So the Saturday always counts. And this law encourages (but don't makes it mandatory) to give a yearly vacation of three weeks in a row. Severely handicapped also have some extra days off, provided by other laws. And a lot of labor agreements make more payed days off mandatory. So a lot of industrial workers have 30 days (based on 5-day-week). There are some religious holidays in early summer, which are bound to Thursdays, so it's a kind of sports to get the Fridays scheduled. To avoid arguments, some companies just close for those days.
    There are also some informal holidays, like carnival Monday in Cologne. So it's a common joke to let staff members in the U.S. play calls to Cologne at this day. If they get an answer at all, the person they called is probably drunk…

  18. Yes Dana, tell the American how "evil" Bernie Sanders would have been 😉
    …and it would be a worthwhile question, if the US is a much more productive country then Germany? 😉

  19. New holiday? ELECTION DAY! Make it a Monday holiday, AND open the polls on the weekend also. Allow 72 hours to vote, so shift and weekend workers can vote, and REQUIRE employers to allow employees time to vote (some bosses will deliberately cancel time off or require overtime of workers they suspect will vote differently than the boss, in order to deny them their right to vote).

  20. Get rid of Confederate Memorial Day in South Carolina and replace it with Carolina Day at the end of June, which commemorates the first decisive victory in the Southern campaign during the Revolutionary War.

  21. Mostly you have to plan all of your holidays for the year until march. March is the common due day, I you haven't planned all your holiday days till then they just expire. That's how it is in most German companies

  22. are you sure about the 24 days? From what I remember the EU minimum is 5 weeks, which would translate to 25 days. So if you only get 24 days than your employer is screwing you over (illegally)

  23. New Holiday!
    Celebrating the hard work of minorities contributions to America. A week of learning in school the benefits of immigration, people of color, and people with disabilities pioneering and/or inventing things we use every day. Then a day off in observance.
    How lovely would that be.

  24. They didnt fight to continue slavery, the fought for the independence of the southern states, and slavery was only a small contributing factor, we also celebrate e lee because he was a great geeral, no matter what side he was fighting for, and every and ALL war participents should be honored for bravery at the least.

  25. In Canada each province has separate guidelines, but all full time workers receive a minimum of 14 days off with pay after one year of service and some provinces give 21 days. Then after 3 and 5 years of service more days are added, employers can and often do offer additional paid days beyond the mandatory weeks as an employment incentive. Part time employees also qualify for time off by law, but they are given that additional pay on each paycheck as a percentage if time worked.
    We also have 9 paid holidays spread out throughout the year, 2 religious, 4 honoring people groups and 2 for our country and 1 for gratitude 😊 Germany seems like a good place for people to live too. Enjoying your posts

  26. I like the way you talk to me, it's like you are my mom and my teacher at the same time and it eases my anxiety lol

  27. Wow thats hard. I have a 37h week, 30 payed days of, 13 holidays and dont work saturday and sunday. But its to less. Otherwise i worked about 100 hours to much since August until now so another 13 days of so far if i need or want not work. So 56 days of
    (no weekends included). So far i have a lot of free time compared to what americans have and i still earn more than enaugh to life good. Thats a little bit shocking for me to hear how less free time americans have

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