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Switzerland agrees to cap vacation days

Stephen Beard Mar 13, 2012

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.    

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