Nearly a third (30 per cent) of Canadian employees say they aren’t working any extra hours before or after taking a one-week vacation, according to a new survey by ADP Canada Co.

The survey, which polled more than 850 workers, found this ‘time-off tax’ — the additional hours worked before and after a week of vacation — reached its lowest level in Canada since 2017. Respondents who said they worked longer put in an average of 18 extra hours, two fewer hours than last year and a significant decrease from 34 hours in 2020.

Read: Canadian employees taking less time off amid pandemic uncertainty: report

By November 2023, 31 per cent of workers said they’d used all their allotted vacation time for the year — a slight increase from 29 per cent in 2022 but well below pre-coronavirus pandemic figures (48 per cent). Nearly two-thirds (62 per cent) reported using at least half to all their vacation time in 2023, while 32 per cent said they took less than half, including 13 per cent who said they didn’t take any vacation time.

More than a quarter (29 per cent) of respondents said they’re considering postponing or cancelling upcoming travel plans due to the current cost of living. Despite the challenging market conditions of the last year, 24 per cent said they’re usually offered additional financial compensation during the year.

“The year-over-year uptick in more workers taking all their allotted vacation days, paired with the dip in time-off tax, indicates that Canadians are regaining their work-life balance,” said Heather Haslam, vice-president of marketing at ADP Canada, in a press release. “As we shift into the new year and with some workers in Canada foregoing their travel plans, employers need to ensure workers are still taking their well-deserved vacation time to disconnect and ensure mental well-being.”

Read: Just 27% of U.S. workers taking all vacation days: survey