Business groups want holidays cut for growth

Business groups want holidays cut for growth
Photo: DPA
Two leading business associations recommended on Friday that Germany reduce holiday time for employees from six weeks to four or five, in order to bolster growth.

Head of the UMW association for small businesses Ursula Frerichs told daily Bild that Germany is among the countries with the most vacation time in the world.

“Six weeks is too much, four would be totally sufficient,” she said.

German holidays are twice as long as those in other countries, she added.

“We must scale back our vested rights and could try the four-week rule for 2011 to support the recovery,” she suggested.

The BVMW federal association for mid-sized businesses was also in favour of temporarily seeing Germans work a bit more, but said cutting back just one week for a total of five would be sufficient.

The organization said this could ease the acute shortage of skilled labourers.

“With 40.5 paid days off Germany is the European champion,” BVMW president Mario Ohoven said. “Along with that there are sick days that also burden the companies. The economy now has full order books again, and everyone will be needed.”

To ensure economic recovery, Germany should change holiday rules for the time being, he said.

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