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Unions push for six weeks of vacation

More than 125,000 people have signed a petition calling for six weeks of paid holiday a year to cope with increasing stress in the workplace.

This content was published on May 27, 2009 - 09:58

Swiss law currently allows for four weeks of paid vacation a year. But Travail Suisse, the country's trade union umbrella group, has collected enough signatures to force a nationwide vote on extending time off to six weeks a year.

"In the past two decades the workplace has become increasing hectic," Travail Suisse said in a statement, adding that well rested employees are more efficient and productive.

The petition began in December 2007 to collect the 100,000 signatures needed for a people's initiative. Proponents plan to hand in the signatures to the federal authorities at the end of June.

Switzerland's 20 days of paid vacation rank among the fewest in Europe. Denmark currently allows the most with 31 days. Elsewhere, the United States allows for just ten days. Mexico has the fewest with six.

swissinfo.ch with agencies

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