Work life balance in the USA

I've long considered wanting to move to the US at some point in my life. I recognise it has some serious flaws, but my main gripe about the country is with the lack of annual leave the US (and Canada) both have. Am I right in saying the US has NO guaranteed paid leave whatsoever and it has be negotiated with an employer before hand? I also read that approximately 25% of Americans don't get ANY paid leave whatsoever? I think the average American only gets just 10 days off a year? In Canada its not much better either with 2 weeks only (and wages are also lower than the US).

AUS/NZ appear to have a similar work-life balance to that of the UK by contrast. A minimum of 4-5 weeks plus an extra 10-13 paid days for public holidays which is a pretty good deal, so I'm open to moving there also. But the lack of paid work leave is a bit of a drag about North America. I'd be ok with 3 weeks but 10 days or less would depress me.
I live in Canada and get 37 days paid leave including stats, my contracted hours are 35 per week,
Depends who you work for really,
The other thing you should note is unions have much more clout in Canada than they do in the UK
 
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Tex

Striker
It’s generally accepted that Americans work the most hours in the western world.
First job I had here the standard was about 12 vacation days and 6 or 7 bank holidays. They even made us come in on Thanksgiving Friday (the whole idea of it being on a Thursday was supposed to be a four day weekend.)
I now get four weeks paid. The problem with this for the company is that when they have a mass exodus as happens from time to time they have to pay everyone out for their unused vacation days. So next year they’re going to unlimited time off, expecting that most people will continue to take less than their allotted amount and there’ll be no payout when they leave.
I had loads of vacation unused as I’ve barely been anywhere this year and won’t get it paid out so I’m pretty much off from now till new year! I will definitely take at least four weeks next year too.
Workers rights are shit. Every job I ever had was ‘at will’ which means they can fire you due to ‘reduction in force’ with no payoff. I also get no company retirement other than matching up to 5% of what I pay in to a government scheme (401k).
I do get well paid for how much I do and have a lot of freedom but it wasn’t always that way. I was lucky to eventually get myself into a line of work in which I’m in demand so if they sacked me off or vice versa I wouldn’t be panicking about finding my next gig.
As for health care, most working people their health insurance is through their job which is fine if you work for a large company who can negotiate a good deal. If you work for a small business or self employed you’re in trouble. If you’re not working you’re daffy ducked. My missus works in a small clinic so I pay extra to have her and the bairn on my insurance.

Still the weather and lifestyle here are class, I think I paid 13% tax last year on gross income, live in a gaff I could only dream about in England. The SMB loves to slag off America and/or Americans but a sizeable amount seem to spend a lot of dosh to come over here and go to Disney etc. I could be there in 90 minutes and don’t have to deal with the shit rain,fog, sleet, wind and cold you have back home. Hurricanes? I’ve shit ‘em!
 
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42

Winger
One of the big selling points about the US is wages are the highest in the world. Engineers get paid £100k, doctors get paid £250k, nurses £70k, teachers £50k etc. Taxes are lower as well.

But what's the point earning so much money if you haven't got any time to actually fucking spend and enjoy it?
How much is health insurance?

Mind on US TV shows with teacher characters, they're always pleading poverty
 
I've long considered wanting to move to the US at some point in my life. I recognise it has some serious flaws, but my main gripe about the country is with the lack of annual leave the US (and Canada) both have. Am I right in saying the US has NO guaranteed paid leave whatsoever and it has be negotiated with an employer before hand? I also read that approximately 25% of Americans don't get ANY paid leave whatsoever? I think the average American only gets just 10 days off a year? In Canada its not much better either with 2 weeks only (and wages are also lower than the US).

AUS/NZ appear to have a similar work-life balance to that of the UK by contrast. A minimum of 4-5 weeks plus an extra 10-13 paid days for public holidays which is a pretty good deal, so I'm open to moving there also. But the lack of paid work leave is a bit of a drag about North America. I'd be ok with 3 weeks but 10 days or less would depress me.
I know a few who moved to Oz, they have a better WLB than the U.K., or as my mate said, they are a bunch of lazy kernts. Did as little as they could get away with and fucked off home at 4pm on the dot every day regardless.
 

Sharpshooter

Central Defender
I live in Canada and get 37 days paid leave including stats, my contracted hours are 35 per week,
Depends who you work for really,
The other thing you should note is unions have much more clout in Canada than they do in the UK
I know it varies from province to province in Canada, I think I read Saskatchewan has the best, start with 3 weeks and after 10 years its 4 weeks.
 
I know it varies from province to province in Canada, I think I read Saskatchewan has the best, start with 3 weeks and after 10 years its 4 weeks.
If you head to Canada, with a job you could probably negoiate your own package, I did, in my first job I was offered 2 weeks vacation I managed to get it increased to 4
A lot depends on your profession
 
I've long considered wanting to move to the US at some point in my life. I recognise it has some serious flaws, but my main gripe about the country is with the lack of annual leave the US (and Canada) both have. Am I right in saying the US has NO guaranteed paid leave whatsoever and it has be negotiated with an employer before hand? I also read that approximately 25% of Americans don't get ANY paid leave whatsoever? I think the average American only gets just 10 days off a year? In Canada its not much better either with 2 weeks only (and wages are also lower than the US).

AUS/NZ appear to have a similar work-life balance to that of the UK by contrast. A minimum of 4-5 weeks plus an extra 10-13 paid days for public holidays which is a pretty good deal, so I'm open to moving there also. But the lack of paid work leave is a bit of a drag about North America. I'd be ok with 3 weeks but 10 days or less would depress me.
You also need to factor in that the culture in many companies in the USA is to look down on employees who have the audacity to actually take their meager annual leave.
 

box2box

Striker
I rarely have less than 12 weeks off a year. Been down here 37yrs. If a firm kicks off about it fuck em, others are available. As my marra says: No one ever lay on their death bed and said they wished they’d spent more time at work.

United Saddoes of America.
What line of work are you in to have 12 weeks off ? You contract?
 
Am I right in saying for jobs with higher salaries in the US your likely to get more days off? Because your considered more of a 'valuable' employee and so have better negotiating rights?
Judged by this film which was on Channel 5 this afternoon, it only gets more demanding the higher up the tree you get. The main character gets called into work on Christmas Eve even though she is miles away on a short holiday and has a seven year old to care for. In order to get the promotion that is being dangled in front of her she needs to make work the focus of her life and be ready to drop everything when she is called upon to do so.

 

BIG MAL

Midfield
One of the big selling points about the US is wages are the highest in the world. Engineers get paid £100k, doctors get paid £250k, nurses £70k, teachers £50k etc. Taxes are lower as well.

But what's the point earning so much money if you haven't got any time to actually fucking spend and enjoy it?
Average tradesman are on $100k + here in WA if you're prepared to do 2on 1off in the mines. Some are now 2 on 2 off. Engineers around$150k. my sister in law is a phsyc nurse on $90 an hour for weekend work so only does the 2 days a week.
 
I live in Canada and, yes, some employers are pretty stingy with the holiday allocation. The employer I'm with now started me at 15 Days (went up to 20 after 6 years). I also work a time system where I work an extra 25 minutes daily which permits me to earn an extra day off each month (12/year). Then I get the Statutory (Bank) holidays; New Year's Day, Alberta Family Day (February), Good Friday, Easter Monday, Victoria Day (May), Canada Day (July), Heritage Day (August), Labour Day (September), Thanksgiving (October), Remembrance Day (November), Christmas Day, Boxing Day (12 Days).

In addition, my employers shut down the work sites at Christmas (this year it's from the end of day on the 23rd of December until Jan 4th, an extra 4 Days).

Adding all of these up I get 46 total days off which I have no complaints about.
 
Judged by this film which was on Channel 5 this afternoon, it only gets more demanding the higher up the tree you get. The main character gets called into work on Christmas Eve even though she is miles away on a short holiday and has a seven year old to care for. In order to get the promotion that is being dangled in front of her she needs to make work the focus of her life and be ready to drop everything when she is called upon to do so.

they don't do any work though the number of phone in meeting i get dragged to to just hear discusions

john cleese put it best
 

elder

Striker
I live in Canada and get 37 days paid leave including stats, my contracted hours are 35 per week,
Depends who you work for really,
The other thing you should note is unions have much more clout in Canada than they do in the UK
i live in Oz:
work 35 hours per week, flex time is accrued for anything over that (that's not typical). there are limitations on how much flex leave you can acrue.
20 days annual leave per year, they don't want us to have over 30 days available at any time so encrourage you to take them to keep the balance down below 30.
15 sick days per year (10 is more usual), they can just keep acruing with no limit
i've just qualified for long service leave (after 7 years) and have 31 days, which now acrue at 1 week per year for the next couple of years, then 2 weeks per year after that

i try to keep at least 20 days of my annual leave available at any time and use a mix of flex leave and annual leave throughout the year.
I 'hope' to stay here until i retire but that's 10 years away so worse case scenario is i'll get made redundant. if i do i'll get all that leave paid out (except sick pay) and i'll probably end up contracting with no leave entitlements at all but decent day rates.
In my industry it's more typical for people to contract but i really fancied the security and benefits of my current job and i'm very happy with it.
 

Redandwhitedust

Central Defender
Am I right in thinking a lot of the criticisms of healthcare in the US are not based on quality but on rather on coverage and who is entitled to it? If you can afford the healthcare its as good as any other country in the world I assume, but if you're poor and can't afford it, well your fucked then really.
Lad I knew married an American and went over there. Her mother is well past retirement age and still working 3 days a week purely because the company has a fantastic healthcare package. The benefits of that perk far outweigh the wages.

Its not uncommon either. People with decent bank balances will work part time in a low paid job if the firm offers healthcare or dental packages
 
It’s a no from me. Mate of mine worked in Chicago for 5/6 years. Didn’t have any time off in all that time other than weekends.

Was frowned upon if you left the office on time by all accounts. Said he regularly worked till 9/10 when deadlines were needed to be completed.

Whole country seems to be built on who works the most amount of time.
We had a large US company on as our delivery partner on the last mega project I worked on.

If the boss decided to have an 0630 meeting you just had to be there and when there was a deadline approaching the hours just got longer.

The company weren't any better at delivering than others but their people just did what they were asked.

I knew a few English people who joined same company and didn't like it.
 

Super Mario

Goalkeeper
It’s generally accepted that Americans work the most hours in the western world.
First job I had here the standard was about 12 vacation days and 6 or 7 bank holidays. They even made us come in on Thanksgiving Friday (the whole idea of it being on a Thursday was supposed to be a four day weekend.)
I now get four weeks paid. The problem with this for the company is that when they have a mass exodus as happens from time to time they have to pay everyone out for their unused vacation days. So next year they’re going to unlimited time off, expecting that most people will continue to take less than their allotted amount and there’ll be no payout when they leave.
I had loads of vacation unused as I’ve barely been anywhere this year and won’t get it paid out so I’m pretty much off from now till new year! I will definitely take at least four weeks next year too.
Workers rights are shit. Every job I ever had was ‘at will’ which means they can fire you due to ‘reduction in force’ with no payoff. I also get no company retirement other than matching up to 5% of what I pay in to a government scheme (401k).
I do get well paid for how much I do and have a lot of freedom but it wasn’t always that way. I was lucky to eventually get myself into a line of work in which I’m in demand so if they sacked me off or vice versa I wouldn’t be panicking about finding my next gig.
As for health care, most working people their health insurance is through their job which is fine if you work for a large company who can negotiate a good deal. If you work for a small business or self employed you’re in trouble. If you’re not working you’re daffy ducked. My missus works in a small clinic so I pay extra to have her and the bairn on my insurance.

Still the weather and lifestyle here are class, I think I paid 13% tax last year on gross income, live in a gaff I could only dream about in England. The SMB loves to slag off America and/or Americans but a sizeable amount seem to spend a lot of dosh to come over here and go to Disney etc. I could be there in 90 minutes and don’t have to deal with the shit rain,fog, sleet, wind and cold you have back home. Hurricanes? I’ve shit ‘em!
13% tax but to take unpaid leave means most folk would lose anything they gain having time off.

It's horses for courses but a bigger house for the risk of losing my job and healthcare sounds like a shit trade off.
 

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