China’s Mandatory Vacation Woes

Travel Blog  •  Eva Holland  •  10.04.10 | 12:53 PM ET

Forget about shrinking vacation syndrome. In China, workers are struggling with a complex schedule of mandatory holidays—followed by mandatory make-up days. The New York Times’ Andrew Jacobs explains:

According to a government-mandated holiday schedule that took effect in 2008, workers were given three consecutive days off last week for the Mid-Autumn Festival, but they were required to make up two of those by working the Saturday and Sunday on either end of the holiday.

This give-and-take arrangement is then repeated for the National Day holiday, with employees enjoying seven straight days off—Friday through Oct. 7—except only three of those are official free days. (The four “gifted days” will be made up over the weekends before and after.)

If you have trouble with the math, you are in good company.

Apparently, an internet cheat sheet has been circulating that aims to help. Here’s its breakdown: “One day off, three days on, three days off, six days on, seven days off, two days on, one day off.” Clear as mud, huh?


Eva Holland is co-editor of World Hum. She is a former associate editor at Up Here and Up Here Business magazines, and a contributor to Vela. She's based in Canada's Yukon territory.


2 Comments for China’s Mandatory Vacation Woes

mawi 10.04.10 | 1:22 PM ET

Wow. Having rules can be complicated enough as it is. Now having rules with stupid requirements like that…... horrible.
They should be able to choose whether to take those holidays or not.
But of course we’re America and that’s China.

El Cid Sales Practices 10.04.10 | 8:53 PM ET

I didn’t know that china has strict rules with regards on implementing holidays to workers. I guess we’re a bit lucky with our rules, china’s rules are too complicated than us.

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