Advice needed on vacation days

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  1. #1

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    Unhappy Advice needed on vacation days

    I would be very grateful for some advice on this forum, as I have recently moved to Hong Kong for my husband's job, and am in negotiations with my old US-based company to work for them out here...

    The problem is that they are only willing to give me 10 days vacation per year (at around $32k per month comp), and as a European that number of days seems extremely low. They don't have someone working in Hong Kong currently (so I would effectively be opening a new office for them), but they are wanting me to be consistent with their Guangzhou office which only gives 10 days.

    As I'm still relatively junior, and don't speak Cantonese or work in finance I'm wondering what a company based here would give me, bearing in mind I would be hired locally and not have expat status?

    Am I being naive thinking I could get a better package with another company here?

    I would very much appreciate any input. Thanks!


  2. #2

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    There is a thread on here called "how many days annual leave do you get" or something like that. That would give you an idea of the normal practice here - though a lot of the people will be on expat not local packages.


  3. #3

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    Yes, had seen that post, but was really trying to understand whether there is a difference between expat and local packages, as expats seem to get 20 days as a rule....


  4. #4

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    It really depends on the company you work for. European companies tend to give more than US ones. 10 is low for a foreign company, but 15 would be not unusual.

    The legal minimum in HK is 7 days, rising slowly with length of service.


  5. #5

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    I had 15 at my (mid-level non-professional status and Mainland hire) when I had my first job in HK, but other foreigners below me had 10, and above me at 15-20. That's in addition to HK's already plentiful holidays and did not include sick days.

    Assuming that you've already tried to bargain for additional days, my advice would be to make sure that your sick days are not included with your regular vacation days, and then bargain for additional days (e.g. 14) next year.


  6. #6

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    I work for a US company. When they transferred us it was from NZ, which had 20 days legislated minimum, and they wanted to give us 14 here which their "consultant" had said was "normal" practice. Most of my colleagues in the US get around this, while our EU offices get heaps and heaps more. As I was originally from the UK, I found 20 days to be low (I was on 28 in the UK) but learned to adjust to it, but refused point-blank to accept 14. So in the end they gave us all (including junior and admin staff, whole office is same) 20 days. So, yes, you can get a US firm to give people on "local" contracts more holidays (we are not on an expat deal, we are considered to be "local" because we "volunteered to transfer here" (the definition of voluntary is not one you would have found in any dictionary though!!!!). But you have to fight for it.
    However, do note that that you get quite a few public holidays here - more than UK for sure, so that helps. Our US office didn't know this, so we ended up better off than they expected (he he, we are not going to let on!).


  7. #7

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    I really don't agree on the sick day question - if you're sick you're sick and if you're not then you should be at work. Good employers don't have quotas for sick days.


  8. #8

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    Luckily sick days are not included in those 10 days - they're a nice company who thankfully do not try to limit how often you can be sick...

    Thanks for all the advice! Definitely makes me think I need to try to go back to them again and push even harder... Wish me luck! :-)


  9. #9
    via
    via is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by haba
    Luckily sick days are not included in those 10 days - they're a nice company who thankfully do not try to limit how often you can be sick...

    Thanks for all the advice! Definitely makes me think I need to try to go back to them again and push even harder... Wish me luck! :-)
    You need to check the number of sick days they allow you to take in one month / year. Some companies let you take up to 24 sick days in one year, while some only allow you to have <12 days sick leave in one year.

    You need to clarify with them before signing the contract.

    I also think you should push for more annual leaves, just say you want to go back home at least once a year, that always work.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by via
    You need to check the number of sick days they allow you to take in one month / year. Some companies let you take up to 24 sick days in one year, while some only allow you to have <12 days sick leave in one year.

    You need to clarify with them before signing the contract.

    I also think you should push for more annual leaves, just say you want to go back home at least once a year, that always work.
    The OP stated they have no set number of sick days per year. As PDLM said, good employers dropped that approach years ago.

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