Thursday, June 14, 2007

For Father's Day how about giving Dad a vacation?

That's the question posed in a press statement from US organisation Take Back Your Time.

Father's Day falls right before the Summer Solstice, when school is out and the vacation season used to begin, it says. But this year, only 14% of Americans will take two weeks off. More than half won't even take a week. 55% of Americans plan on using what vacation days they have to extend the weekend here and there. A quarter of Americans get no paid leave.

"A desk clerk in a hotel where I was staying a few weeks ago told me her employer had canceled her vacation for the seventh year in a row," says Take Back Your Time's national coordinator John de Graaf. "She was almost crying when she told me."

"I used to remember when I was a kid and the family took two week camping trips to the national parks," adds board member Joe Robinson. "Long weekends don't cut it. Studies show people need two weeks or more off for vacations to improve their health, family bonding or productivity."

A new study by Rebecca Ray and John Schmitt of the Center for Economics and Policy Research ( calls the United States the "No Vacation Nation.," pointing out that all other industrial countries mandate paid vacations, with the minimum paid time off in Europe being four weeks.

Fathers want more time for their families, according to several new studies. 38% say they'd even sacrifice income to get it. With workplace stress and burnout already costing the United States more than $300 billion a year, Take Back Your Time says "enough is enough." The organization is calling on Congress to pass legislation providing 3 weeks of paid vacation to all Americans.

"Fathers need it. Mothers need it. Our health needs it. And evidence from many companies shows that it will even improve our productivity," says Executive Director Lisa Stuebing. "Father's Day should be more than an excuse to sell cards and clothes. Let's give Dad and the whole family a real present--the right to a vacation."

Horrible, horrible. Don't let this happen in Ireland, guys.....

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