10 International Labor Benefits That Americans Would Like to Have

Notoriously, Americans are not the beneficiaries of premium wage, vacation, or unemployment rules. According to Glassdoor's report, The ...

Notoriously, Americans are not the beneficiaries of premium wage, vacation, or unemployment rules. According to Glassdoor's report, The United States is not very competitive with other countries when it comes to taking care of its workers.

America cannot have a growing economy or lift the wages and incomes of our citizens unless we continue to reach beyond our borders and sell products, produce, and services to the 95% of the world’s population that lives outside the United States.

10 International Labor Benefits That Americans Would Like to Have

10 International Labor Benefits That Americans Would Like to Have


Benefits such as health care, retirement plans, paid vacations and paid parental leave are benefits that some US Employers offer to attract quality talent. In much of the world, however, workers expect these "extras" guaranteed rights and enjoy the benefits that most Americans can only dream of having.


In the United States, the work week is five days, from 9 am to 5 pm, with a standard of 40 hours. In the Netherlands, a four-day week and around 29 hours of work is a standard for much of the country's population. In Denmark and Norway, the average is 33 hours. Irish employees work an average of 34 hours per week.


Most Americans have very little, if any, money saved for their retirement. But in much of the world, jobs offer lucrative pensions, which guarantee safe retirement. Denmark has what is considered the best - sustainable, with good advantages, and high integrity. The Netherlands follows a semi-mandatory fixed rate system based on average lifetime earnings.


The United States is one of only nine countries that requires unpaid maternity leave, and the others are small and poor nations. All EU countries must offer at least 14 weeks of maternity leave. In Great Britain, new mothers can receive up to 52 weeks. In Bulgaria, parents receive more than 400 days at an almost complete salary.


Many countries offer paid vacations not only for new mothers, but also for new parents, or those who are in sweet waiting. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that 31 of the 41 industrialized nations have paternity leave. Japan gives 30 weeks to new parents; South Korea gives around 16 weeks.


Only 12 percent of Americans receive family leaves to care for their 8-year-old or younger children, or other family members, according to the Center for American Progress. France and Germany offer three full years, although not all are paid; The Nordic countries offer less time, but with full payment.


Time off paid, or sick leave, is not a guarantee for American workers, but it is a standard in most of the rich countries of the world. Employees enjoy more generous sick benefits in Denmark, which offers up to 104 weeks off with a 90 percent salary. Norway grants up to 52 weeks of sick leave with full pay, in which the employer pays one part and the rest government.


In the United States, the average worker receives 10 days of paid vacation per year. Workers in the EU have 20 days, or four weeks - not counting holidays. Denmark, France, and Sweden give their employees, full-time, 25 days, or five weeks per year. Finland offers 40 days of paid vacation annually.


In the United States, unemployment payments are determined by the state, and usually, equal 40-50 percent of wages for 26 weeks. In Denmark, workers get 90 percent of their previous earnings, for up to two years. In France, workers under 50 can claim benefits for two years, and employees aged 50 and over can deduct three.


A critical component of the balance between work and personal life is a flexible schedule and time spent in the office. At best, a quarter of US workers work remotely, but at least 80 percent would like it, according to GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics. In India, more than half of the country's employees work from home. In Mexico, 30 percent use telework.


In the United States, a disability can quickly lead to poverty. This is not the case in many parts of the world. In Austria, Belgium, Germany, and Luxembourg, for example, employers pay full salary for six weeks to employees who become ill or suffer a disability. After that, health insurance is who pays - in Germany, it's 70 percent of the salary for up to 78 weeks for three years. Norway guarantees disability compensation as a universal right and grants permanent benefits of two-thirds of a worker's wages in the years before the date of the disability.


US employers excel in welfare programs. More than half of all American workers have access to programs designed to curb discomforts such as stress, smoking, obesity, and hypertension. Only 23 percent of European employees can say the same thing. In Latin America, it is 5 percent, and only 1 percent in Africa.

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