Christmas time off: who gets the most?

Christmas is, of course, a time for merriness, too much food, and presents, and after a busy autumn term we at the Careers Service have begun to turn our thoughts to the holidays.

In particular, we’ve been considering the time off we are about to enjoy – but then this got us thinking: how does Britain’s time off compare to other countries?


Do others get less time off? More? Or maybe none at all?

We did some research (read: used our favourite search engines) and decided to share the Top 3 countries ranked in order of their time off over the Christmas and New Year period.

Joint 2nd: Liechtenstein and Armenia

The tiny Principality sandwiched between Switzerland and Austria shares second place with the former-Soviet Republic of Armenia, both giving Christmas Eve through to Boxing Day off, as well as the two days either side of the New Year. For good measure they add Epiphany, 6 January, for a total of seven days.


1st place: Russia

With a total of eight days off in a row, Russia gives every day between New Year’s Day and the day after Russian Orthodox Christmas (7 January)!

Trivia fact: Christmas celebrations were banned under the Soviet Union and celebrations weren’t renewed until after 1991, so New Year has taken the limelight instead. Feasts of food, presents and bad TV are consigned to that day instead.

Sadly, the UK is on the lower end of the chart, with only three days off. Perhaps worse news for us in England however (unless you’re in the public sector…) is that Scotland gives an extra day off on the 2 January.


Of course, there is a serious point to reflect on here as well, if you’re thinking about working abroad – there are many things to consider, some you may not immediately think about. Mandatory/minimum amounts of time off work are part of an important set of questions to consider concerning your rights in the workplace.

Other factors to consider include whether there are laws against discrimination, or providing for affirmative action; what legal guarantees there are that you will be paid; work-time breaks; and so on. Obviously, knowing these rules can be quite important to know about and to make sure you are treated fairly.


So, whether you’re planning to emigrate or just working abroad for a short period, make sure you do your research beforehand! But where might you find this information?

Networking is always a good option, but you can also check out a number of country guides published by providers such as GoinGlobalProspects, and TARGETjobs (all of which can also help you find work as well), or see our Work and Study Abroad page.

Whatever you’re up to during the festive break, everyone at the Careers Service wishes you a peaceful and relaxing time, and we’re looking forward to seeing you in the New Year!