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I’m an American living in Australia and this is the strangest thing I’ve noticed about the holidays Down Under

by Staff

By Louise Allingham For Daily Mail Australia

04:02 27 Dec 2023, updated 04:02 27 Dec 2023

An American living in Australia has shared her shock over how much time workers Down Under take off over the Christmas period. 

Brooke Laven said she was ‘mind blown’ that Australians working full time get four to six weeks of paid leave per year.

She said most of her colleagues are taking a month off over Christmas and she was encouraged by her employers to use up some of her leave.       

‘Everyone in Australia is getting ready to go on vacation for this next month and as an American it’s still mind blowing to me because we get about 11 days of paid vacation per year,’ Brooke said in a video

‘I was discouraged from using vacation days in the US and now quite the opposite in Australia.’

Brooke Laven (pictured) moved from the USA to Australia and is amazed at how much paid leave Aussie workers are entitled to over the festive season

Brooke said US workers will be rewarded an extra four days of paid leave after working at the same company for five years and after 10 years they get a total of 17 vacation days. 

The expat said she hasn’t worked in the US in a non-freelance role for more than seven years and remembers ‘cashing in’ her leave as she hadn’t used it all by the time she left her last American job. 

‘Today I saw the statistic that said only half of Americans, less than half of Americans, 48 per cent, use all of their vacation days,’ she said. 

‘I’m gearing up to take a week off and that’s less than any of my co-workers and I was honestly kind of pressured into taking the week off for mental health.’

Brooke said US workers have an average of 11 vacation days annually and will only get more if they stay at the same company for five or ten years

Part time and full time employees in Australia are entitled to a minimum of four weeks paid annual leave depending on how many hours they work  a week according to Fair Work Ombudsmen

‘Work culture here is so different, feels odd not feeling guilty for taking the week off,’ Brooke added.  

Brooke’s video sparked a discussion among viewers. 

‘And usually two weeks of that (covering Christmas) is mandatory leave,’ one user explained. 

‘Work-life balance in Australia is important,’ a man wrote.  

‘My mum just got back from a holiday and she’s still off for another week and she gets leave loading pay for having time off,’ a third said. 

‘Just wait until you realise no work actually gets done until after Australia Day, 26 January, that’s when the work year really begins,’ someone added.

READ MORE: Kiwi expat laughed at for naming the things New Zealand has better than Australia

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