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U.S. EMPLOYEES WORK MORE AND PLAY LESS

 U.S. EMPLOYEES WORK MORE AND PLAY LESS
 MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- So much for lazy Americans!


U.S. employees receive significantly less vacation time than their European counterparts. In fact, it would take a U.S. employee 30 years to match the level of vacation time commonly awarded to employees in many European counties, according to a new analysis by The Wyatt Company.
 There is some good news for overworked U.S. employees, however. "Many companies are revising their paid time-off policies to give employees more flexibility," said Rick Wald, leader of Wyatt's group and flexible benefits practice group in Minneapolis.
 Some companies are incorporating paid time off into flexible benefit plans or adopting a "pooling" approach. Flexible benefit plans give employees the option to "buy and sell" paid time off. The "pooling" approach combines sick and personal days, holidays and vacation time off into one account and allows employees to draw from that account throughout the year. No distinction is made between sick leave or vacation, for example.
 Unlike in the United States, paid vacation is mandated in European countries. Sweden requires 27 days of vacation time; Austria and France, five weeks; and Germany, three weeks. In addition, most European employers extend employee vacation time to six weeks. Though Great Britain does not mandate paid vacation, employees there receive an average of five weeks vacation time.
 "In contrast, paid time off in the U.S. depends on length of service," said Wald. "The longer you work, the more time off you receive." A U.S. employee can expect an average of 11 days of paid vacation in his or her first year, at 5 years, 15 days; 10 years, 17 days; and 30 years, 24 days.
 More closely aligned with the United States are Canada (an average of 10 days vacation time), New Zealand (15) and Japan (10). "But it's not uncommon for Japanese employees to take less than their allotted number of days," said Wald.
 Paid holidays are fairly even across the globe, with most countries averaging 10 days off per year. Japan has the most paid holidays, with 14.
 The typical annual sick leave in the United States is 10 days, and 45 percent of companies allow employees to carry over unused sick leave (two to three weeks) from one year to the next.
 Only 25 percent of companies provide personal time off. Of those that do, most allow one to five days per year.
 The information above is from a report in the August issue of Wyatt COMPARISON. The issue is free of charge to participants in the COMPARE data base, and is available by purchase to others.
 The Wyatt Company is an international consulting firm specializing in the areas of human resources, financial management and systems. The firm has 3,400 employees in 69 cities.
 -0- 9/16/92
 /CONTACT: Peter Miller, 612-921-8737, or Rick Wald, 612-921-8731, both of The Wyatt Company/ CO: The Wyatt Company ST: Minnesota IN: SU:


AL -- MN010 -- 0300 09/16/92 16:26 EDT
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Date:Sep 16, 1992
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