Young Canadians keen to combine work and travel: survey

But experts caution about risks and 'potential legal pitfalls' of extended travel for employees

Young Canadians keen to combine work and travel: survey

Travelling is no longer just a leisure, if you ask young Canadians.

Overall, 47% of Canadians say that a company's policy on foreign work would influence their choice of employer, and the number jumps to 63% among Millennials, reports FlightHub.

And 25% of those aged 25 to 40 would seriously consider combining work and travel abroad.

Nearly six in 10 (57%) of employees have plans to extend their vacation abroad to do some work, according to a previous IWG report.

Extended stay abroad for work

Some young workers even plan extended stays of several months in international destinations, identifying 39 days as ideal if they had the opportunity to work from abroad, finds FlightHub’s survey of 2,000 Canadians.

“This shift in vacation preferences underscores the increasing importance placed on leisure and relaxation in the lives of young workers,” said FlightHub. “Reasons mentioned for this trend include the ability to take longer vacations, break from the daily routine, explore new cultures, and visit relatives abroad.”

However, Baby Boomers are not going along with the idea of travelling abroad for work. Seventy percent reject the new work approach, and 43% claim they cannot work while travelling. 

A previous HRD article delved into the case of one worker who was stuck abroad and fired by their employer.

Should employers allow workers to work abroad?

Despite the appeal that combining travel and work has on young workers, it may not be wise for employers to allow them to do so, according to experts.

“In the wake of the pandemic and global adoption of teleworking, an increasing number of employees are looking to work remotely abroad,” said Patty Shapiro, an associate at Ogletree Deakins.

“Unfortunately, the law is not as flexible as technology. It may be very easy for employees to work abroad in practice, but there are a number of potential legal pitfalls that can create risks for employers.”

Granting requests to do so, in itself, could be a headache for companies, she said.

“First and foremost, how employers address remote work requests could give rise to discrimination claims (particularly on the grounds of national origin). An inconsistent or subjective approach to these requests may invite scrutiny. Therefore, employers may want to implement clear policies and procedures on remote work.”

Also, allowing workers to work abroad can have an impact on workers’ access to healthcare and other benefits, said Kiljon Shukullari, HR Advisory manager at Peninsula.

“The same may apply to the employment standards legislation of your province,” he said. “Your remote staff may be subject to the local labour laws in the country or province where they choose to relocate. In case of a job contract-related dispute, several legal factors may determine whether your provincial employment standards still apply to your remote worker abroad.”

Shapiro also cited concerns about how allowing workers to work abroad could have an impact on work-related injuries and companies’ intellectual properties. Meanwhile, Shukullari raised a concern about how the idea could affect day-to-day business operations.

Also, hiring international talent can bring about challenges to employers, according to a previous report.

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