Switzerland agrees to cap vacation days

A general view of Davos at dusk on January 10, 2012 in Davos, Switzerland. The Swiss public recently voted down an offer to get an additional two weeks of vacation each year, which may mean less chalet time.

David Brancaccio: Who wants more time off, raise your hand. No? In a national vote, the Swiss just decided against making employers give all workers an extra two weeks of paid vacation every year.

Marketplace's Stephen Beard reports.


Stephen Beard: The Swiss already get a minimum of four weeks paid vacation. They were asked what seems like a silly question: Do  you want two weeks more? In any other country, it would be a silly question -- but not in Switzerland. They've just voted a resounding "no."

Tony Ganzer is an American journalist based in Zurich.

Tony Ganzer: Two thirds of voters said, 'No,  I don't want more vacation. I want to do good work. I want to be proud in that, I don't need extra vacation.'

It's not just the Swiss work ethic in operation. Critics of the measure said it would drag down the Swiss economy -- and at a time when exports and tourism have been hit by the soaring value of the franc.

A  spokesman for Swiss industry said the referendum result was not  a surprise. This isn't Greece, he said, this is Switzerland.

In London, I'm Stephen Beard for Marketplace.    

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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