Anti-vacation nation

What little we have had of summer is drawing to a definite close and as one usually does as the winter months begin to dawn upon us - we start wondering where our next holiday is going to come from.

What little we have had of summer is drawing to a definite close and as one usually does as the winter months begin to dawn upon us – we start wondering where our next holiday is going to come from.

As a relatively new addition to the Canadian work force there is one glaring shock to the system that I continue to find very difficult to overcome when considering this topic … Why is it that Canadians have so little paid time off work?

In the UK we are used to an absolute bog standard rate of 20 days paid time off work a year – so basically a months holiday a year.

Canada’s bog standard rate is 10 days a year and in most jobs it would appear you are not allowed to take these two weeks until you have been working at your job a full year. America is similar to Canada in its holiday generosity, yet slightly more ferocious with workers taking an average of nine days off a year but it is the only OECD country that has no entitled annual leave.

I came across an interesting study last week from 2007 comparing entitled paid time off in OECD countries. Canada and Japan tie second to last place next to America. France is apparently the most holiday-friendly nation with a base rate of 30 days paid annual leave.

When Christy Clark proposed introducing Family Day for B.C. earlier in the year – businesses freaked out about not being able to afford another statutory holiday for their workers. Family Day is already in place during February in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario. It’s hard to believe they can have this reaction considering how little paid time off they have to give employees in comparison to European countries.

I for one hope Clark follows through will this extra stat holiday, regardless of the reaction by stingy businesses.