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Last Updated: Monday, 13 August 2007, 09:49 GMT 10:49 UK
UK workers 'get least paid leave'
A beach in Newquay
UK workers will have a minimum of 28 days' paid leave from April 2009
The UK is set to stay at the bottom of the league for holiday entitlement in the European Union even after a rise to 28 days in April 2009, a survey warns.

A change in EU rules means the UK will have to stop counting its eight public holidays towards the EU 20-day minimum.

But Incomes Data Services says the UK will still lag entitlement elsewhere, which ranges from 28-29 days in the Netherlands to 39.5 days in Denmark.

The TUC says six million workers will benefit from the rise in paid leave.

Denmark 39.5
Austria 38
Sweden 36
Slovakia 35
Luxembourg 35
France 35
Germany 34-39
Portugal 34
Czech Republic 33
Slovenia 33
Italy 32
Spain 32
Greece 32
Poland 31
Finland 31
Bulgaria 31
Belgium 30
Hungary 30
Romania 30
Ireland 29
Netherlands 28-29
UK 28
Source: Incomes Data Services

The UK entitlement will be raised in two stages, initially going up to 24 days from October 2007.

"The new regulations are clearly aimed at preventing the practice of including the current eight bank holidays in the minimum entitlement - whereby some employees effectively got just 12 days' annual leave," said Ken Mulkearn, Editor of IDS Pay Report.

However, even though they will get more paid holiday, UK full-time workers will still not have any legal right to avoid working on a public holiday if their employer wants them to.

The EU's Working Time Directive gives workers in all member states a minimum of 20 days paid leave.

Despite being bottom of the EU holiday league, the UK is still well ahead of many other developed nations.

In Canada and Japan, workers are guaranteed only 10 days of paid leave per year while the USA does not have any legal minimum for paid leave.

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