Canadians deserve more paid vacation time

A new report released today by the Canadian Labour Congress confirms what most working people in this country have long suspected. Canadians give more of their waking hours to their employers than workers in most OECD countries.

While less discussed than wage and income inequality, there are huge differences among working people in terms of access to paid time off the job within Canada ... mostly depending on their province of residence. Ken Georgetti, the president of the Canadian Labour Congress, says it's time for a change.

"The upcoming Civic Holiday reminds us that hard-working Canadians get a very limited right to paid time off the job relative to workers in similar economies. The first Monday in August is a statutory holiday in only 3 provinces and two territories. While some provinces, like Ontario, offer only 2 weeks of paid vacation each year, Saskatchewan offers up to 4 weeks of paid vacation after 10 years of service. I think Canadians, in general, deserve better no matter where they live," says Georgetti.

Georgetti says it's time for the federal and provincial governments to move to a new national legal minimum of ten paid statutory holidays and a minimum of three weeks paid vacation after one year of service, rising to four weeks after ten years of service. This would extend what workers in Saskatchewan and most unionized workers already enjoy to all Canadians. It would also move us closer to the much higher European standard of four-to-six weeks of paid vacation.

A recent review of the Canada Labour Code (Part III) by Professor Harry Arthurs endorsed an increase in paid vacation time in the federal sector.

Today's new report details the rights workers have to paid holidays by province and in Canada as compared to other OECD countries. It can be found on the Canadian Labour Congress web site:

The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3.2 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada's national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 135 district labour councils.