Vacation days : Canadians losing out on 26 million days

This year, Canadians will not use all of their vacation days. Do they prefer working to leisure? According to a recent study, they deprive themselves of vacation for professional or even material reasons. Some explanations.

The annual Vacation Deprivation Study sponsored by Expedia and conducted by Northstar with one thousand Canadians interviewed last September found that 52% of them were deprived of vacations, compared to 48% last year. Of these, 66% said that they had not taken enough vacation, while 34% explained that they had not used all of their annual leave.

1.4 million employees have never had leave

For close to one third of respondents, or 32%, this is the fault of hectic professional time which doesn’t allow them to make this well-deserved annual break. For 29% of Canadians, there are financial constraints related to a mortgage, loan or tuition fees which are a brake on their going on leave. Only 24% of those surveyed don’t go on holiday for family or private reasons. The survey also found that more than one million Canadians have not gone on vacation for fifteen years while 1.4 million have never taken leave all their life.

Since the survey was launched in 2003, Canadians have handed more than 350 million days of leave to their employer, generating financial gains for companies in the order of 53 billion dollars in salaries. This represents an annual average of some 26 million days of leave and 4 billion dollars of wages.

Less leave than last year

According to the study, 16% of people will go on holiday for a shorter period than last year, while 62% think they will take the same number of days. Finally, only 15% will take more holidays than last year.

However, 72% of Canadian connect their happiness to vacation days. Of the persons surveyed, 78% even say the find a boost in energy and feel happy before leaving on holiday. Those surveyed find that vacations are essential to their well-being with 44% being relaxed or just happy when they return.

However, Canadians struggle to disconnect from their work during vacations. 42% of them stay constantly or regularly connected to their work email. For 62% of Canadians, the fact of staying connected paradoxically lets them fully enjoy their vacations. In addition, six Canadians out of ten keep regularly checking their private email.

Sacrifices for more vacation days

Finally, 92% of respondents would be ready to make sacrifices to have a few more days of holiday. 55% of Canadians say they are ready to stop going on social networks if it would result in an extra day of vacation. 42% would turn off their tablet for seven days and 34% their mobile phone, if it would allow them to earn a day off.

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