With summer season in full swing, just how many Canadians are planning on taking their vacation in the next few months?

A 2017 RBC Insurance survey revealed that 79 per cent of Canadians plan to travel this year, with 60 per cent looking to use their vacation time to explore Canada as part of its 150th birthday celebrations. But those plans may not become reality.

Canadians actually leave an average of three vacation days unused every year. That represents almost 31 million unused vacation days and $5.5 billion in wages, according to a 2016 by Expedia Inc.

Read: KPMG seeks workplace flexibility through vacation purchase plan

Many employees don’t take vacation because they’re too busy and worry about leaving work unattended, says Stacy Glass, a senior human resources consultant at HR Options in Markham, Ont. “The thought of them going away on vacation and falling that far behind is frightening to them.”

But as Canadians become aware of the health benefits that come with taking time off, Glass notes more employers are encouraging staff to use their vacation allotment. “I’ve seen companies that want their staff to take vacation because they don’t want them burning out or seeing increased costs in absences or illnesses because [employees] haven’t taken care of themselves.”

Employers who support vacations also make their staff feel valued, and employees are more likely to come back to work energized, says Glass.

Read: Canadians work an extra 21 hours before and after a week of vacation: study

So are you planning to take your vacation this summer, and if so, how much time will you be taking? Have your say in this week’s online poll.

As for last week’s poll, it asked about the Ontario government’s plan to prohibit employers from asking staff who have taken 10 sick days or less each year for a doctor’s note.

Among respondents, 51 per cent agreed that doctor’s notes are an undue burden and a waste. The remaining 49 per cent of respondents disagreed with the government’s proposal, suggesting the change is an excessive intrusion on employers’ rights.

Copyright © 2017 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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