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August 27, 2021

Canada lags the world in holidays, time off work: report

One week from today is Labour Day, the last chance, of course, you’ll have to wear white this year.

But to most Canadians, Labour Day marks the last in a short line of summer holidays, giving way to Thanksgiving and not a whole lot else until Christmas.

As it is, Canada’s calendar isn’t chalk full of stat holidays, and while most provinces go on a nice, little summer run (Victoria Day, Canada Day, Civic Holiday and Labour Day), that’s still just four holidays total over the four prime months of the year.

In terms of these so-called “mandatory” days off, we always knew Canada was behind much of the world, but check out these nauseating numbers to find out by how much.

Depending where you live in the great, white north, you’ll get around ten holidays per year – even more if Uncle Sam, er, Harper signs your paycheques.

*Bing: Canada’s holidays by province

Certainly, everyone loves a holiday, and the promise of an extra day free of work is so powerful it once helped a maligned Liberal win his province’s Premier seat back in 2007.

In terms of holidays, Canada trails other nations in a large way, though when holidays are packaged together with mandatory employment leave, it paints another picture entirely.

A researcher named Louis Duncan recently compiled this infographic, accounting for mandatory employment leave (in calendar days) across the world, which would include forced vacation time and holidays taken off work.

The results? Regrettable. Canada would have just 14 calendar days that fit this bill, more than Mexico (five) and China (six) but weeks less than many countries.

Major nations like Russia (28 calendar days off) and Germany (28) lead the global list, which also features the U.K. (29), France (30) and Brazil (30) near the top.

But the gold standard is Austria, where workers, thanks to 13 stat holidays, get a whopping 42 mandatory calendar days off work each year.

If you could elect another stat holiday for Canada, where/when would you put it and why?

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...