Half of Canadians taking less time off in December due to pandemic: survey

Nearly half of working Canadians (49 per cent) will be taking less or no vacation time this December as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to a new survey conducted on behalf of ADP Canada Co.

The survey found 27 per cent of those respondents won’t take any time off at all during the holidays this year. In 2020 overall, 43 per cent of the 860 Canadians surveyed have used less than half of their vacation allotment this year, while a quarter of respondents haven’t used any of their vacation time. More than a quarter (28 per cent) of those working Canadians who said they’ll take less or no time off due to the pandemic plan to carry their vacation time over into 2021.

Read: Majority of Canadians doing extra work before, after vacation: survey

Women were more likely than men to postpone vacation time, with 50 per cent of female respondents taking less than half of their vacation this year and 29 per cent taking no time off, while 64 per cent of men said they’d take time off this year (compared to 58 per cent of women). Single workers were more likely to not take any time off during the holidays (34 per cent) compared to workers that are married (22 per cent) and respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 were more likely to have taken none of their vacation than any other cohort (30 per cent).

The survey also found that Canadian workers anticipate spending an average of 17 hours on extra work before a vacation and an additional 17 hours after, for a total ‘time-off tax’ of 34 hours. A 2019 ADP survey found employees who put in extra time said they expected to spend an average of 16 additional hours before vacation and 17 hours after, while in 2018, ADP found respondents expected to work an additional 23 hours to compensate for time off.

“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,” said Heather Haslam, vice-president of marketing at ADP, in a press release. “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.”

Read: Many Canadians working extra hours to offset vacation time: survey