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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

On Paid Vacation

Unfortunately, my contract for the part-time job I have had for the past year came to an end. In fact, today was my very last day. I'm not too sad, though, because I will still be paid until the end of September. How? Germany!



I have been working a part-time job at my university since October 2014. The job is great, the pay is great, everything is great. Learning that I had paid vacation days made it even more great.

At just 15 hours per week, I never expected I would have any kind of benefits. Heck, I worked full-time jobs in the U.S., but since I was paid hourly, I never received any vacation days (unless I just wanted to take unpaid time off). So, when I first approached my boss about taking vacation for Christmas 2014, I explained to him that I would work extra hours the weeks prior to and after my time off to make up for the lost hours.

"You could also just use some vacation days," he explained.

"I have vacation days?!" I asked, confused as to how a part-time student worker could possibly have earned vacation days.

"Welcome to Germany, where workers actually have rights," he replied with a smile.

Calling HR that afternoon, I was shocked to find out that I had 6 vacation days to use during my first 6 months at my job. After my 6-month probation period, I would earn 24 more days to use within the next year.

Yep, that's right, 30 paid vacation days!!! Since my time off is calculated at 6 days per week, that is 5 weeks of paid time off! Working 15 hours per week, that's 75 paid hours!

Unfortunately, my job contract ends on September 30th. However, I won't be working a day of September. Why? Because I still have 24 days of vacation to use! So, I will be sitting back and sipping mojitos at home as the paychecks continue to roll in for one more month (in reality I will be crying at the computer as I write term papers, but whatever).

How many paid vacation days do you receive per year?

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