Extent and Effects of Employees in Germany Forgoing Vacation Time

DIW Weekly Report 2 / 2012, S. 25-31

Daniel D. Schnitzlein

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Around 37 percent of those in paid full-time employment in Germany did not claim their full vacation entitlement last year. The number of vacation days actually taken by each employee was on average three days less than the full entitlement. This equates to around twelve percent of the overall volume of vacation entitlement not being used. This figure is corroborated by data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) collected by DIW Berlin together with the survey institute TNS Infratest Sozialforschung. It has been found that younger employees use less of their vacation than older ones. Moreover, employees working for smaller companies and persons who have joined a company more recently in particular do not take their full vacation entitlement. Not taking vacation is linked to short-term increases in income. There is, however, also evidence that it affects quality of life.

JEL-Classification: J63;J22;J24
Keywords: Vacation, SOEP, labor supply
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