'Time off tax': 49% of Canadians work extra hours to cover holidays

For half of Canadian employees, this year's celebrations will be cut short

'Time off tax': 49% of Canadians work extra hours to cover holidays

As we push through the final leg of 2020, the festive cheer is starting to ramp up.

However, for half of Canadian employees, this year’s celebrations will be cut short.

A recent study from ADP found that 49% of Canadian workers continue to pay ‘Time off tax’ on their vacation days.

‘Time off tax’ is the time employees put in before or after their annual leave in order to cover the work they’ll miss on those days. Canadian employees undergo, on average, 17 extra hours of work before a vacation – with a further 17 extra hours when they come back.

The report highlighted that 27% of employees will not be taking any time off during the holidays because of ongoing travel restrictions. What’s more, one-quarter of all workers surveyed have not used any of their vacation time.

"In a year like no other, it's clear that Canadians are struggling to disconnect from their jobs and take a much-needed break, or not taking time off at all," added Heather Haslam, vice president, marketing at ADP Canada.

So, what can HR do to help?

Well, employers should start by not overloading employees – especially around the holidays. While it’s important to finish the year on a high, extra pressure on already stressed workers will just lead to burnout.

And, remember, January is the most popular time for employees to look for a new job.

"While this may be difficult during the pandemic, employers need to be vigilant and make room for employees to take time off to avoid burnout," added Haslam.

“Ensuring that teams are properly resourced and that employees understand time off will not impact their performance ratings will increase workers’ comfort in utilizing their allotted vacation time.”

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