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National holiday on August 15 for St. Maria, many banks and businesses closed in Romania


Around 4.3 million Romanian workers, including many bank employees, will have a day off tomorrow, August 15, 2012, for Sfanta Maria’s day. It will be the fourth year saint’s day has been a public holiday.

The Labor Code states that if employers cannot or will not grant employees the day off, they must pay employees who work up to 100 percent above the normal daily wage or give an extra free day with the next 30 days. Most food retailers will opt for this alternative, as the hypermarket chains close their shops only for a few days, usually around Christmas and Easter.

With 11 public holidays a year, Romanians are around the middle in the world rankings and could soon have an extra day, following parliamentary approval of Sfantu Andrei’s day as a national holiday. Romanians are free on January 1 and 2, have two free days on Easter, on May 1 for Labor Day, on June 3 and 4 for Rusalii (also a religious holiday), on August 15 for the celebration of St. Mary, on December 1- the National Day and on December 25 and 26.

Columbia has the most public holidays with 18 a year, while Japan and India are not far behind, both with 16. At the other end of the spectrum, Britain and the Netherlands have only 8 national holidays a year, however, the UK has the highest number of days statutory paid leave in the world – 28 days, according to a study by Mercer Human Resources. Neighboring Bulgaria has more public holidays than Romania – 15 a year.

Ioana Toader, ioana.toader@romania-insider.com