Canadians starved for annual leave

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Offering an average of just 19 days’ annual leave including public holidays, Canada is among the least generous nations in the world when it comes to statutory holidays.

Mandatory vacation entitlements do vary between provinces, and many companies supplement statutory requirements, but as a nation we’re still extremely tight-fisted in comparison to other Western nations, and actually rank alongside nations such as the Philippines at the bottom of the global league table.

By contrast, employees in other countries get far more time off:

  • UK employees receive the most generous statutory holiday entitlements in Western Europe (28 days) followed closely by Greece, Austria, France, Sweden, Luxembourg, Finland and Denmark (all 25 days)

  • Workers in Malta receive 24 days and 14 public holidays

  • Australia, New Zealand and Japan offer 20 days of annual leave, and 10 public holidays

  • Italy, Belgium, Germany, Cyprus, Ireland, Switzerland and the Netherlands employees are entitled to 20 days statutory holidays

Holiday entitlements are clearly an important and often undervalued part of a broader rewards strategy, and many experts stress employers must ensure they offer staff a flexible working life and encourage employees to redeem their annual leave entitlements.

 “A break from the daily routine is essential in maintaining employee wellbeing. It’s important to create a culture of health in the workplace so employees take the message home with them and look after their health outside work as well,” said Georgina Harley, from Mercer’s Information Product Solutions business, from which the above data came.

  • Larry Dawson on 2016-02-23 12:40:20 PM

    This seems contradictory when we keep hearing about the massive costs of paid sick leave that are "imploding" the workplaces in Canada. So, people don't get enough paid time off, work themselves into a physical illness, and then are criticized when they take paid sick time? make up your minds.

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