Employees on international assignments typically observe the holidays of their host country location, which is sometimes a bit of a surprise for the expats. They might be American citizens working for an American company in its Paris office, but they will celebrate not U.S. Independence Day but French Bastille Day! They usually receive the same paid time off they received at the home location, but sometimes, local laws or practices dictate a different arrangement. Employees on assignment are also given allowances for at least one trip home per year as part of international relocation packages.

Vacation Time

For International Relocation Benefits, best practices dictate that employees assigned overseas accrue vacation time at the same rate as their home-based counterparts. In most cases, vacation and sick time are made separate designations, but some companies choose to use Paid Time Off instead to pool all time off. Again, local laws or practices might dictate some deviation from this policy. Some companies allow accrued vacation time to roll over to the following year, but in many cases, the company will buy out unused time at the end of the fiscal year.


Some holidays are widely observed, such as Christmas and New Year’s Day. Most, though, are more localized. American holidays like Thanksgiving and Independence Day are not recognized elsewhere, but every country has national and local holidays, from English Boxing Day to Chinese New Year. These are the holidays recognized in the local workplace.


In addition to provisions for vacation time and holidays on location, international relocation packages typically include an allowance for round-trip travel home for the employee and immediate family members once per year. In some cases, two trips per completed assignment year can be approved for employees living and traveling alone. This leave is typically in addition to standard vacation time. It is designed to assist the employees in managing their home life, catching up with relatives, friends and work colleagues and taking care of any outstanding home country tasks.

A flexible, accommodating vacation and leave policy will help persuade employees to accept international assignments and increase the odds that they will be completed successfully. Such a policy also marks a company as a good workplace and increases its chances of success in a competitive global talent market.

Learn more in this International Relocation Policy ebook!

Global relocation best practices are continually changing to reflect the new norms of the working world. Our ebook brings you up to speed and introduces new ways companies can achieve their global mobility objectives.

Now is an excellent time to consider the changes and trends impacting mobility and ensure your program remains modern and competitive. Read this ebook to understand the international relocation policy trends and best practices that will help you assess your global mobility policies in light of current realities:

  • Key trends in global mobility
  • Compensation & benefits for relocating employees
  • Pre-assignment & home country assistance
  • Mobilization to the host country & repatriation

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