HR and Vacation



  • The theme de jour (that's theme of the day ;) ) appears to be bad HR experiences, so I'll take my turn harping on them.

    In 2000, I and 11 other college graduates started a "College Graduate Trainee" (CGT) program at a large company.  We all started on Tuesday May 30th (since Monday was Memorial Day in the States.)  As part of the 1/2 day of HR orientation meetings, we were told that vacation is given based on the number of years an employee has as of June 1st. One to 5 years of work was 2 weeks, 5-10 was 3 weeks and 10+ was 4 weeks.  For employees with less than 1 year of work, the literature stated, they earned 1 day of vacation for each month worked, up to a maximum of 10 days.

    In addition to the vacation, each employee, regardless of time served, got 3 personal days on January 1st each year.

     After these meetings the CGTs all went to their respective groups and began working, but would occasionally bump into each other throughout the year.  Around October or November, I started hearing of several CGTs taking vacation days.  Especially around Thanksgiving and then again before Christmas.  Seeing as I was new to town and didn't have any big plans I kept saving my vacation, thinking I would use it as a lump sum.   Around February or so, I had switched groups, which was part of the CGT program, and my new supervisor wasn't sure how to handle my vacation since I didn't techinically work for him, but the CGT supervisor.  So I emailed HR.  The response I got back was that vacation earned at 1 day / month was not awarded until June 1st.  At which time all CGTs would be getting 2 weeks, since we would be employed > 1 year at that time. So I put any vacation ideas on hold.

     In May, my brother-in-law was leaving for the  Air Force, and my wife wanted to make the 6 hour drive to see him befor he left.  I emailed HR and clarified that "All employees get 3 personal days."  The answer was "Yes, they do."  So I went to take my 3 days and take an extended weekend to make the trip.  I was then told that since I had not yet been employeed a year, I would only get a pro-rated number of vacation days, in addition, I would not get those days until I had been there a year (i.e. May 30th).  Despite me replying with her exact words when she stated that all employees, including CGTs had 3 days of personal time, I got nowhere.

    Thankfully, my supervisor was nice enough to cut a deal with me and let me take 1.5 days off even though it wouldn't be reported, because I couldn't use that charge number.

     I suppose, in the end, TRWTF is that I asked for permission rather than forgiveness like the rest of the CGTs



  • @taylonr said:

    The theme de jour (that's theme of the day ;) ) [...]
     

    No, it's "Le thème du jour"! 

    Please stop using french when you don't speak it... 



  • @taylonr said:

    I suppose, in the end, TRWTF is that I asked for permission rather than forgiveness like the rest of the CGTs

    I think the real wtf is this:

    @taylonr said:

    vacation is given based on the number of years an employee has as of June 1st. One to 5 years of work was 2 weeks, 5-10 was 3 weeks and 10+ was 4 weeks.  For employees with less than 1 year of work, the literature stated, then earned 1 day of vacation for each month worked, up to a maximum of 10 days

    I get 27 days. Seriously, isn't max 10 days off per year illegal or something? Or do you live in China?



  • @dhromed said:

    I get 27 days. Seriously, isn't max 10 days off per year illegal or something? Or do you live in China?

     

    Two weeks paid vacation is the norm for most employees in the USA. 



  • wow. 



  • @dhromed said:

    I get 27 days. Seriously, isn't max 10 days off per year illegal or something? Or do you live in China?

    I can't speak for the OP, but in the US, 10 days is typical. My current employer gives 2 weeks for 1-3 years of employment, 3 weeks for 3-5 years, and 4 weeks for 5+ years. We also get 10 holidays (8 "official" and 2 floaters).



    Some employers only give 1 week to start with, but that's usually the lower wage places.



  • Hot damn. No wonder you're all popping caffeine pills.

     



  • @dhromed said:

    Hot damn. No wonder you're all popping caffeine pills.

    QFT.  I'm sure places around here would be in an uproar if an employee had  27 days off. They'll argue that they're giving too much leisure time. If I remember my history lessons, back in the days of the Industrial Revolution, people in the US hardly got any leisure time at all, so I guess we are better off today.



  •  Yeah, right now I have 10 days vacation, 8 holidays that the company decides, 1 holiday I decide and 5 days of sick pay, so 24 total days off in a year

     



  • @taylonr said:

    The response I got back was that vacation earned at 1 day / month was not awarded until June 1st.  At which time all CGTs would be getting 2 weeks, since we would be employed > 1 year at that time. So I put any vacation ideas on hold.

     

     

    I was in a similar program when I started here (almost a year ago!) and I'm still waiting to see if my 2008 vacation days will get credited to me on my 1 year NCS anniversary. Six more days...

     

    Also, in response to Dhromed's post: Do you live in France or something? I hear that the French government mandates a minimum number of vacation days per year (which is awesome). Despite the fact that the average member of the US workforce gets 10 paid vacation days per year, many people actually elect not to take them, and in total, the US workforce elects not to take something like one billion vacation days per year. To me, that's TRWTF.



  • FWIW, I get 20 vacation days, 6 sick days, 2 personal days, and 8 company holidays/year after 1 year.

    As for whether or not you are permitted... I always tell (not ask) my boss a couple weeks and then again a few days in advance, and then take the days. If there's a rpoblem, I can always argue with HR. The worst they can do is dock you.

    Remember, there is NOTHING that will ever happen at work that is anywhere near as important as any goofing around you might do on a day off!

     



  • @snoofle said:


    Remember, there is NOTHING that will ever happen at work that is anywhere near as important as any goofing around you might do on a day off!

     

    I concur wholeheartedly. 



  • Where I am, I'm forced by law to take ten consecutive days vacation. Which is interesting, because I didn't want to.

    These have to be working days too. I'm going to have to skip a Friday sometime in August because there's a holiday in one of the two following weeks (meaning only 9 working days).

    That Friday had to be deduced from another week vacation I had this month. So, that week I only came on Wednesday. What a productive day that was... =P



  • Dhromed lives in the netherlands i think, where a similar law is in effect. The minumum is 20 days i believe, with the added side law that the employer is required to at least grant you 2 weeks ( 10 work days) of continues vacation a year. Doing so is ofcourse optional.

    But most people, especially those without kids hardly take days off, personally i will use about 7 or 8 days a year. The days you don't take can either (depending on employer) be taken to the next year, or paid for hours worked. ( although there are tax laws surrounding that, which change almost every year.)



  • That's one of the great things about my company, we get 19 days off (they don't differentiate between vacation days and sick days) which goes up by 5 days for every 5 years you are with the company, to a max of 29.  On top of that, since we are in the banking industry, we get all bank holidays off, except columbus day. So, with 3 years here, I get 28 days off a year



  • Here in Ireland the standard is 20 days holidays + public holidays(9 in total) + (in some cases) bank holidays + up to 20 sick days (generally payed for by the state).

    Management get a lot more: My mother for example gets 40 days holidays + 9 public holidays + up to 20 sick days... 



  • @dhromed said:

    I get 27 days. Seriously, isn't max 10 days off per year illegal or something? Or do you live in China?

     

    My first job out of college was as a contractor to a major U.S. automaker.  For my first year I had zero days of vacation.  After that I earned vacation at the rate of 5 days per year.

    I had about 5 paid holidays per year plus two weeks around Christmas when the manufacturing plants close and I was considered temporarily unemployed.

    God I hate how little personal time we get in the United States.  Ten days per year is standard with a few more if you stay with one employer for 5+ years. 



  • My first job out of college was for a computer chip assembler.  This was just as that kind of work was being sent overseas and the company was struggling to stay in business.  They shut down for a week or two every Christmastime too, with the excuse that all of the customers were closed down.  They forced everybody to use earned vacation time for these shutdowns.  I got lucky by being hired in April or May, so by the time the season rolled around, I had squeaked in with 5 earned days that I could use.   Just.

    A coworker wasn't so lucky.  He was hired after me, in October, so by the time we shut down, he had something like one day.  HR so sweetly told him he could borrow the days from next year's accrual.  (Actually, it was either that or quit/be terminated.)  So he basically started out a week in the hole on vacation time.  Nasty, nasty HR hobbitses.



  •  I get 25 PTO days (personal time off) that includes sick days (I never call in sick) and scheduled time off. It's the most generous I've ever seen and goes a long way toward keeping me at the company. With the weekends I generally take off the month of September. 



  • @dhromed said:

    Seriously, isn't max 10 days off per year illegal or something? Or do you live in China?

     <hints id="hah_hints"></hints>
    Strange as it may sound, there are those who believe that individuals are responsible for their own work arrangements.  Aside from banning actual sweatshops (which in and of itself is not a universally-accepted net positive), contracts are between employees and employers, not the government.  People are free to negotiate for more vacation time if they want it, and many employers are often happy to give it in lieu of a higher salary or wage.  The employment standards we do have are primarily to keep paying jobs more attractive than welfare.

    I realize that 4-6 weeks of vacation time is common all across Europe, but that has other consequences, and not everyone believes in vacation as an end unto itself.  Some people actually want to work and don't like sitting around.  Other people may not love their jobs, but really need the money.  To be honest, I don't see too many people here wishing that the government would intervene and put a stop to all those evil people working for too many days.

    Honestly, you don't think that all those extra vacation days are free, do you?  It kills company productivity, which either results in lower pay or poorer conditions. 



  • @Aaron said:

    @dhromed said:

    Seriously, isn't max 10 days off per year illegal or something? Or do you live in China?

     
    Strange as it may sound, there are those who believe that individuals are responsible for their own work arrangements.  Aside from banning actual sweatshops (which in and of itself is not a universally-accepted net positive), contracts are between employees and employers, not the government.  People are free to negotiate for more vacation time if they want it, and many employers are often happy to give it in lieu of a higher salary or wage.  The employment standards we do have are primarily to keep paying jobs more attractive than welfare.

    I realize that 4-6 weeks of vacation time is common all across Europe, but that has other consequences, and not everyone believes in vacation as an end unto itself.  Some people actually want to work and don't like sitting around.  Other people may not love their jobs, but really need the money.  To be honest, I don't see too many people here wishing that the government would intervene and put a stop to all those evil people working for too many days.

    Honestly, you don't think that all those extra vacation days are free, do you?  It kills company productivity, which either results in lower pay or poorer conditions. 

     

    WTF?!  Are you a communist or something?



  • @Dude said:

    WTF?!  Are you a communist or something?

     <hints id="hah_hints"></hints>
    Yes.  Didn't you know?  All communists believe that the government shouldn't interfere in the private sector.

    Oh wait... communists believe that there shouldn't be a private sector, period.  I was thinking of the other thing... um, what's that phrase, hmmm, let's see... free market? 



  • In New Zealand, the minimum holiday was 3 weeks annual leave (not including public holidays and sick leave), but it was raised to 4 last year or the year before (don't remember exactly when).  There was much rejoicing at the accouncement - except from my boss at the time, whose leave went up to 4 weeks (long service reward) on the same day anyway.

    I've never once been refused a day off, and the only time I was asked to take unpaid leave was when I was planning a month-long trip to Europe and would be about 2 weeks over what I had left.

    I believe the law is there to protect those workers who can't negotiate for themselves, or who don't know it's possible. Same reason it's illegal (few prosecutions, but debate every year) to open shop on Good Friday.  That one's probably going to change soon though.

    As for time off reducing productivity... what a load of bollocks.  People here (talking about salary employees only - not per hour) tend to work when it's needed, not based on the clock.  If that means late nights and weekends every so often, that's fine - because it goes both ways.  And they say change is as good as a holiday - but a holiday is even better.  It reminds people they're still people - not robots.  Generally, unused holiday rolls over but can usually be paid out.  But only 10 days a year - that would be a nightmare!



  • Because my edit time limit expired...

    Annual leave is accrued throughout the year - so 6 months after you start, you have half, on your anniversary you have it all assuming you haven't used any.  Time off before the right number of days has accumulated isn't a problem - and least I've never heard of it.  Oh, and leave isn't allowed to be refused without good reason (not sure of the exact wording).



  • U.S. businesses tend to have rather Machiavellian attitudes.  I read a book about dealing with company politics once where the author suggested never taking more than a week off at a time, even if you've earned alot more.  Her reasoning was that if they realized that they did just fine without you, it must mean they don't really need you.

    Personally, I don't think I would work for that kind of manager.



  • @medialint said:

     I get 25 PTO days (personal time off) that includes sick days (I never call in sick) and scheduled time off. It's the most generous I've ever seen and goes a long way toward keeping me at the company. With the weekends I generally take off the month of September. 

     

     

    I can't wait to have time off like this. As a lowly first-year employee I'm only entitled to 10, I believe. These don't roll over, either. I think the best position has to be college professor, even though it pays a lot less. You don't have to worry about IT process, you get summers away from students, and the majority of your time is spent doing research on your own projects and ideas that you're excited about. My ultimate goal is to become a professor of Computer Science at a major public research university (perhaps Rutgers, my Alma Mater).



  • @Dude said:

    @acne said:

    Please stop using french when you don't speak it... 

     

    Couldn't have said it better myself. 

     

    French is a proper noun, so should be capitalized. Technically, the original poster demonstrated ignorance in spelling, not speaking, French. The ellipsis is unecessary. The comment is a pedantic response to a joke made clear by the smiley face. So actually, it would have been better not to respond at all. The same could be said of my response, I guess.

    The joke is writing an obvious mangling of a French term commonly used to make "soup of the day" sound fancier in American greasy spoon diners, then pretending to smugly translate it like somebody who thinks he knows more than everybody else. With a smile and a wink.

     



  • I have seen a couple of interesting practices with vacation here in the US.

    1. Not being able to roll your vacation over from year to year. So you get the end of year crunch with the employees either having to take time off or lose it, combined with the end of financial year crunch of trying to get projects finished by the end of year so you can bill the clients. It makes for a very painful situation.

    2. I interviewed with [url=http://www.carmax.com]CarMax [/url] last year and learnt that they don't have a set amount of vacation time. Their theory is that if you are professional enough to do the work, you are professional to manage your own time off. When I asked if this led to excessive time off, the guy I spoke to suggested that people were taking less than average amounts of time off.



  • @PerdidoPunk said:

    Also, in response to Dhromed's post: Do you live in France or something?
     



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  • I live in The Netherlands as well, and get 39 days off a year. 26 regular vacation days, and 13 days for working 40 hours while the company pays for 38. At least I have some time to spend the money I earn each year, I wouldn't want to be forced to work all year long, with never some real time for your self.

    Also the concept of sickdays sickens me. What if you fall seriously ill, you immediately lose all your vacation days, and when they run out you lose your job? And the medical insurance with it?



  • @Zecc said:

    Where I am, I'm forced by law to take ten consecutive days vacation.
     

    Out of curiosity, WHERE IS THAT ? 



  •  @dhromed said:

    I get 27 days. Seriously, isn't max 10 days off per year illegal or something? Or do you live in China?

    And I thought 10 year feds had it good with their whopping 26 days per year. What are immigration laws like there? 



  • In The Netherlands immigration laws won't be an issue if you are employed in the USA at a serious job :)

    And I want to know about those sick days too. How do you guys handle illness? What if you break your leg (or for this audience: a couple of fingers)?



  • @why? said:

    I live in The Netherlands as well, and get 39 days off a year. 26 regular vacation days, and 13 days for working 40 hours while the company pays for 38.

    United States GDP per capita:  $46,000
    Netherlands GDP per capita: $38,600
    Source: CIA Factbook

     We each pay for our leisure time in different ways.

     

    Also the concept of sickdays sickens me. What if you fall seriously ill, you immediately lose all your vacation days, and when they run out you lose your job? And the medical insurance with it?

    Most US companies will generally offer unpaid leave if you're unable to work for a prolonged period for medicale reasons.  Firing people for getting sick or injured is bad for public relations.

    Which is not to say the system of employer-sponsored health insurance doesn't have serious deficiencies. 

     



  • @Nelle said:

    @Zecc said:

    Where I am, I'm forced by law to take ten consecutive days vacation.
     

    Out of curiosity, WHERE IS THAT ? 

     

    I don 't know about Zecc, but I'm from Germany and it's the same here. I have to take 15 days per year off, 10 of which have to be consecutive. My manager would actually get reprimanded by HR if I didn't take those days. The idea is that the employer is responsible for the welfare of his employees, which includes them having enough vacation. In total, I have 30 days, and I would get another two if I were above 40 years of age. That is slightly above average for Germany, the average company would give 20-25 days.

    Regarding sick days, anything up to three days I can just take off, more than that and I will have to go to a physician and get a proof of sickness (sorry, but I don't know the correct English word). If I fall seriously ill, up to (I think) two months are payed by my employer (which is required by law) and another two months will be payed by health insurance (which I am required to have by law). Oh, and they cannot fire me for being very sick, unless there is no chance that I will be able to work in the next few years (in which case I certainly have a bigger problem than my job).

    German work laws are certainly great...for the employees, ar least



  • @Netdiver said:

    German work laws are certainly great...for the employees, ar least

     

    on the other hand, employers are more reluctant to hire people in such countries like yours or mine... especially small companies.



  • I just remembered a sweet deal that a former coworker once had. he was Dutch, employed by the German office and permanently seconded to the US office. As a result he had the 6 weeks of vacation per year, as well as getting flown home to Europe twice a year, collecting a per diem for living in the US, and having various other expenses paid for. Unfortunately HR caught up with him a few years ago and he lost a lot of the benefits - which pissed him off no end



  • At my place of employment, I earn 6.15 hours paid vacation time per fortnight (2 weeks) which adds up to roughly 21 days over the course of one year. At the end of the year, we're closed from the Friday before Christmas to the Monday after New Years, which is between 10-15 days, and it's paid leave. Plus 8 days paid sick leave, and occasional federal public holidays (universities dont recognise state holidays).

    I have no problem with that :) And I've only been working here a year and a half. 



  • @ammoQ said:

    on the other hand, employers are more reluctant to hire people in such countries like yours or mine... especially small companies.
     

    You've said this before in some other discussion, but do you have some actual proof of that?

    At first the statement looks obvious, but when you think about it for a while, it doesn't really make sense. Why would a small company care? If they need people to expand, they are going to hire people. If they can't sustain a extra employee they won't hire a new one. And when they are on a tipping point, where they need a extra person for a big order but can't guarantee they will need someone on the long haul, they can employ zero hour contracts via a agency or if that is too expensive they can alternatively opt to employ someone for a half-year contract.

    The above is based on the netherlands, but i'm sure this will apply for most countries.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    My last sit-down job, I was entitled to PRECISELY 0 days of vacation, 0 sick days, no lunch, no breaks, etc. The only day that wasn't on the schedule was Christmas day. When I pointed out this was illegal, they docked me 2 days pay. When they caught me taking lunch, they docked me 2 more days pay. When I threatened to pursue legal action, they gave me the appropriate phone numbers for the state agencies. It was useless. Thanks, Pennsylvania. You really helped a lot.

    I have some kind of utterly-crap job detection system, because I keep ending up with them.



  • @stratos said:

    @ammoQ said:

    on the other hand, employers are more reluctant to hire people in such countries like yours or mine... especially small companies.
     

    You've said this before in some other discussion, but do you have some actual proof of that?

    At first the statement looks obvious, but when you think about it for a while, it doesn't really make sense. Why would a small company care? If they need people to expand, they are going to hire people. If they can't sustain a extra employee they won't hire a new one. And when they are on a tipping point, where they need a extra person for a big order but can't guarantee they will need someone on the long haul, they can employ zero hour contracts via a agency or if that is too expensive they can alternatively opt to employ someone for a half-year contract.

    The above is based on the netherlands, but i'm sure this will apply for most countries.

    Economics 101: When you enforce laws like "all employees are guaranteed 39 days of vacation per year", you lower the value of that employee as they are able to work less than they would without that restriction.  Consequently, that vacation time is just borrowed from somewhere else, but it salary or the ability of an employer to hire additional employees.  This also increases the attractiveness of cutting costs through other means, such as off-shoring, reducing the quality of a product or avoiding risky (but potentially rewarding) endeavors.  Every single one of these hurts small companies worse than large ones.  Small companies already have a harder time attracting employees and since they don't have the revenue of a large company they will not be able to make attractive salary offers or hire on necessary employees.  Since they are small, they cannot lower the quality of their product or off-shore as easily as a large company.  Finally, small companies often find success through risky moves that larger companies are not willing to make.  By reducing the attractiveness of high-risk opportunities, you give an advantage to large, established companies that can afford to continue doing "business as usual".

     

    It all comes back to the basic economic principal of TANSTAAFL: those 39 vacation days are not free, they come out of somebody's pocket and ultimately it ends up being yours.  Any market (such as a labor market) will always move towards price equilibrium which means that the 39 days you are not working make you less valuable than an employee in another country that only takes 10 days of vacation a year.  By thinking you will achieve the same productivity (and thus value) with 29 fewer days of work per year, you are demonstrating massive irrationality.



  • @stratos said:

    @ammoQ said:

    on the other hand, employers are more reluctant to hire people in such countries like yours or mine... especially small companies.
     

    You've said this before in some other discussion, but do you have some actual proof of that?

     

    It's hard to proof that without changing a country's political system and seeing what happens ;-)

    Anyway, it most likely is not true in IT. A small IT company can, and will, easily hire a consultant to help them in a big project. No problem.

    The statement comes from small family-run shops, crafts enterprises etc. They are reluctant to hire e.g. a sales clerk because of all the problems they might face.

    In economic magazines like BrandEins (German), you find that topic covered regulary.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Economics 101: When you enforce laws like "all employees are guaranteed 39 days of vacation per year", you lower the value of that employee as they are able to work less than they would without that restriction.

     

    In the domestic market (many enterprises do not have to compete on a global level) it doesn't matter, since the competitors must obey to the same laws. On a global market, it means that the kind of work that can easily be transfered to eastern europe, china, india etc. will eventually go there. But it would go there anyway, since the average wages are much lower there.

    For those jobs that can not be offshored so easily, a lot of other factors have to be considered. Access to well-educated people, good infrastructure, political stability etc. all have an influence on the decision where to establish a site. Eventually, those 39 days of vacation will simply have an impact on the anual income. Currently the usd-euro exchange rate probably breaks my example, but if we look at the situation two years ago, a programmer would simply make more money in the US, where he has to work 60 hrs/week with 10 vacation days, than in Europe, with 45 hrs/week (average) and 25 vacation days. From what I read, USD 80K-100K/year is standard in the US. Here in Austria, EUR 50K/year is not bad. Germans have slightly higher wages, despite even stricter laws, but they have higher taxes, too, so it probably doesn't matter that much.



  • @Aaron said:

    Honestly, you don't think that all those extra vacation days are free, do you?  It kills company productivity, which either results in lower pay or poorer conditions. 
     

    Strange how so many people accept the idea of computers and other machinery needing preventative maintenance, but not humans? Sure, those people who never take a break might be at work clocking up hours - but how effective/efficient/productive are they? Certainly I know my productivity suffers if it's been a long time since I had a decent break.

    FTR here in Australia the standard is four weeks of annual leave per year, plus on average (depending on which state you live in) ten public holidays. Sick leave is generally 5-10 days per year - but my first job (public sector) was unusually generous, ten days full pay and ten days half pay per year.

    Another benefit to businesses of ensuring employees take their leave regularly is that it keeps the employee's leave liability down - better for the company balance sheet - and it becomes easier to detect corporate fraud (embezzlement etc.).

     



  • @Nelle said:

    Out of curiosity, WHERE IS THAT ?
    Portugal (off topic: Germany kicked us out of the Euro 2008 yesterday. Good thing I'm not much into football).

    TRWTF is I'm not entirely sure how the number of days I get is calculated. I guess I can't be bothered enough to find out.



  •  In australia for most salaried positions you'll get around 28 days paid holiday + 10 sick days + 3 undocumented sick days(ie. you don't need a note from a doctor) + public holidays.

    sick days don't usually accrue if you don't use them.  i think the most i've ever used in a year are about 3 or 4 and basically all of those were because there were good bands playing on weeknights.

    I can't imagine working for only 10 days holiday a year, it seems crazy, what's the point in living if you barely get time off to have fun?  Don't get me wrong i really like my job and do a lot of unpaid overtime and weekends etc. when necessary, but i live for my holidays.  To be honest i usually take unpaid leave as well to extend my holidays(i took 4 months unpaid leave last year and about 2 so far this year) luckily my company is very flexible with this.



  • All this talk of having "sick days" seems really weird to me. When I get sick, I call up my boss and say, "I'm sick and I won't be coming in today". In fact I did this a few weeks ago when my inner ear decided it hates me and wants me to die. This doesn't affect my pay, nor my vacation time.

    More on topic, I was given 10 vacation days this year. I used 8 of them and they're forcing me to use the last two at the end of fiscal (i.e. next week). I don't know what the fuck I'd do if I had more vacation time. I'd be bored out of my mind without having to deal with WTFs all the time from work.

    Can someone tell me the difference between a vacation day and a "personal" day?



  • @ammoQ said:

    In the domestic market (many enterprises do not have to compete on a global level) it doesn't matter, since the competitors must obey to the same laws.

    All companies compete in the global market.  Any product can be produced almost anywhere and if it can be done better in one place rather than another, the former will generally reduce the potential revenue of the latter.  It's not just off-shoring, but imports and exports as well as financing and viability of the domestic economy.

     

    @ammoQ said:

    On a global market, it means that the kind of work that can easily be transfered to eastern europe, china, india etc. will eventually go there. But it would go there anyway, since the average wages are much lower there.

    Not necessarily (there's a lot more than wage to take into account) but generally as economically undeveloped areas become developed they reach price parity which diminishes the attractiveness of investing there.  However, restrictive laws like the European labor laws lower the value of allocating resources there which means countries with less-restrictive laws tend to remain more competitive.

     

    @ammoQ said:

    Currently the usd-euro exchange rate probably breaks my example, but if we look at the situation two years ago, a programmer would simply make more money in the US, where he has to work 60 hrs/week with 10 vacation days, than in Europe, with 45 hrs/week (average) and 25 vacation days.

    The value of the dollar has more to do with debt and financing than with the viability of the economy.  A low dollar does cause a short-term drop in the US economy (although it actually hasn't been that noticeable to the average American) but it is usually positive in the long-term.

     

    @ammoQ said:

    From what I read, USD 80K-100K/year is standard in the US. Here in Austria, EUR 50K/year is not bad. Germans have slightly higher wages, despite even stricter laws, but they have higher taxes, too, so it probably doesn't matter that much.

    I think most of the EU has a significantly higher tax rate than the US and most of Eastern Asia. 



  • @Welbog said:

    Can someone tell me the difference between a vacation day and a "personal" day?

    I guess it kind of varies in your work environment and the generosity of your employer. I get 10 days vacation, but also accrue personal time off (PTO) in addition to sick days and holidays.

     Some employers will give you a different handful of benefits or one or the other but not both. I suppose even if I had more time off, I'd still be programming for my hobbies - robotics and remote controlled aircraft.



  • @Welbog said:

    All this talk of having "sick days" seems really weird to me. When I get sick, I call up my boss and say, "I'm sick and I won't be coming in today". In fact I did this a few weeks ago when my inner ear decided it hates me and wants me to die. This doesn't affect my pay, nor my vacation time.

    It doesn't usually affect pay or vacation time for salaried workers unless you use up all of your sick days.  So if you are sick more than 5 days a year, your employer will request you either give up some vacation time or not get paid for the extra days you missed.

     

    @Welbog said:

    More on topic, I was given 10 vacation days this year. I used 8 of them and they're forcing me to use the last two at the end of fiscal (i.e. next week). I don't know what the fuck I'd do if I had more vacation time. I'd be bored out of my mind without having to deal with WTFs all the time from work.

    Agreed, I get bored quick too.  I actually use a large amount of "vacation" time, but it's just to visit family halfway across the country.  I usually do some work while on vacation and I am always on-call in case something happens.  OTOH, none of my time is really tracked so I can pretty much take (within reason) as much sick time as I want.  I'll probably do a 2.5 week stay with my family this Christmas, but I will be doing some work during that.

     

    @Welbog said:

    Can someone tell me the difference between a vacation day and a "personal" day?

    Generally vacation time has to be requested in advance (although it can be used in a pinch if you run out of sick or personal days).  Sick days are last-minute deals with the understanding that the person taking the time is legitimately sick.  Not all employers give personal days, but they are last-minute deals where the employee just "doesn't feel" like coming in.  Whether it be because of some emotional situation or just general exhaustion, etc..  it is a way for employees to get a little time to themselves without having to fake a sick day.  Most employers that give personal days only give 2 or 3 per year, but that's more than enough for most people. 


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