Vacation time is important

It’s that time of year again… when the sun beckons us out, children are off from school, and most of us can’t help but want to make the most of our long days.

Believe it or not, Canadians don’t get much vacation time compared to many other people throughout the Western world.

Canadians are legally entitled to only two weeks vacation every year (except Saskatchewan where everyone is legally entitled to three weeks of paid vacation after one year of service, and four weeks of paid vacation after ten years of service).

Take a look and see how many weeks of paid vacation employees from each of these countries are legally entitled to each year:

France – 6 weeks

Denmark – 5 weeks

Finland – 5 weeks

Norway – 5 weeks

Sweden – 5 weeks

Germany – 5 weeks

Austria – 4½ weeks

Portugal – 4½ weeks

Spain – 4½ weeks

UK – 4 weeks

Greece – 4 weeks

Ireland – 4 weeks

Italy – 4 weeks

Netherlands – 4 weeks

New Zealand – 4 weeks

Australia – 4 weeks

Belgium – 4 weeks

Japan – 2 weeks

USA – 0 weeks (worker’s in the USA have no statutory rights to paid vacation!)

What are the consequences of giving more vacation time to employees? Does the country’s economic productivity suffer? When you look at the numbers, workers who live in vacation-rich nations are more productive on the job.

Employees who live and work in Norway, Sweden, Belgium, Denmark, Australia, Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, and France are some of the most productive staff in the world – despite the fact they have lots of vacation time.

There is a lot of evidence indicating lengthy vacation periods give employees time to recharge, refresh and enjoy the time they away from work. Employers benefit from employees who are more healthy, rested and able to work more productively. Employers offering more generous paid vacation time are also more likely to have less staff turnover costs.

This is why we passed laws guaranteeing an 8-hour day, a 40-hour work week, and a two-day weekend. It gives employees time to recuperate and come back to work recharged. And the economy is more productive than ever.

Now it’s time to take it to the next level. Let’s give every Canadian worker three weeks of vacation. Our economy and our mental well-being will be better off because of it. What do you think?


Questions? Need help?