The Swiss turned down the chance to have a really long vacation, and I mean really loooong! Six weeks minimum holiday per year. Ain’t that fabulous? The workers union that proposed it thought so, but the Swiss didn’t like it.
What happened? Why did they turn down this opportunity to lay on their backsides in the sun for two additional weeks? Are the Swiss boring people who don’t know how to have fun?
The proposal was that the minimum holiday in Switzerland would be raised from 4 to 6 weeks. Great for employees, right? Jobs in Switzerland are obviously very important to Swiss nationals.
The Swiss have these ‘ask the voter’ sessions where government asks people their opinion via a referendum what they think of certain proposals. It’s called direct democracy. Kinda cool. Would be great if they could copy that for Europe!
The Swiss people got really scared about the economy and their jobs. The Swiss government issued warnings that a minimum of 6 weeks doodling in the sun would increase the cost of labour and put their economy at risk. As the Swiss are really sensible people they obviously didn’t want to loose their jobs and be on a permanent ‘holiday’.
According to the Swiss radio station SSR two-thirds of Swiss rejected the proposal and so did all 26 cantons (provinces/states). Business leaders were rather pleased with this outcome. They had also waged a media war against this proposal by showing adverts in which a neglected surgery patient finds a Post-it note stuck on a medical monitor saying there was a staff shortage because of the new vacation rules. And posters all over the country warned people that more holiday would mean fewer jobs.
So the Swiss people headed government and business advise and voted against more time off. Jobs are obviously more important than having fun on the beach after all.