Tracy Nesdoly recently wrote an article about 12th century serfs having a better work-life balance than we do today, having taken 170 days of vacation a year.
Sounds good to me!
There is no doubt, in my mind, that Canadian labour laws are not up to date on mandated paid vacation time. Our laws provide workers with 10 days a year.
10 days out 365 is nothing. Compare that to almost every other country in the world, our vacation time is dismally, almost embarrassingly low.
According to a Mercer report comparing global employee statutory and public holiday entitlements, “employees in Canada are amongst those with the lowest entitlement with only 10 days”.
What’s worse is that generally speaking, you have to have worked one year before you’re entitled to vacation time, and unless otherwise stated in a contract, your company may be able to dictate when you take your vacation.
So, no vacation for a year, and then you’re told when you can take it? Seems ridiculous.
I once worked for a company that dictated when employees could take one week of their two-week vacation. The mandatory one-week period was over Christmas. This was fair in the sense that often not much is realistically accomplished over the holiday, but unfair since not everyone celebrates Christmas.
Needless to say, I didn’t feel much loyalty to the company since their policies didn’t seem to respect or appreciate employees’ work/life needs.
This takes me to my next point regarding vacation time. There seems a fine line between company needs and respecting employee needs.
Would offering more vacation, and the ability to schedule your own vacation increase loyalty to a company?
It would for me. Knowing that your workplace won’t dictate when you can vacation and spend time outside the office offers a level of consideration and respect for employees while also demonstrating that an employer values their contribution and wants employees to maintain a balance.
I also don’t understand the why an employer would want an employee to go without any time off for an entire year. Is that not just asking for burn out?
While ranting away on Canada’s mandatory vacation allowance, I should point out that there are many companies that offer more than the two-week minimum and allow their employees to schedule vacation long before the one year working mark.
In the meantime, a quick glance at the Mercer report makes Canada look a little backwards on the work/balance scale.
Here is a sneak peak of the Mercer report on holiday offerings around the world:
• Brazil: mandates 30 days a year
• Britain: a global financial hub, mandates 28 days a year
• Russia: mandates 28 days a year
• Japan: mandates 20 days a year
• South Africa: mandates 21 days a year
What do you think? Are you offered a reasonable amount of vacation time? Should Canada take a page from the Brazilian holiday handbook and mandate more time off for employees?