Canadian employees should have more vacation time and receive fewer holidays than their counterparts in most industrialized nations, says a report.

The Canadian Labour Congress report notes that many European countries provide a minimum of four to six weeks of paid vacation, not including numerous paid public holidays.

“The Scandinavian countries are particularly generous,” the report says, “and the fact that these countries rank high in international competitiveness rankings gives the lie to the claim that more vacation time undermines national economic performance.”

The United States is a major outlier in the world of OECD countries. It’s the only country which provides no legal right to any paid vacation time.

In Canada, employment standards can vary. All workers have access to a minimum of two weeks paid vacation(or vacation pay)after one year of service. There is no entitlement at all to a third week in Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Yukon.

And access to paid statutory holidays is different across the country. New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia have six paid vacation days while Saskatchewan has ten.

The Canadian Labour Congress has long called for an increase in paid vacation time as a basic right for all workers. Most recently, in the review of federal employment standards, it called for three weeks of paid vacation after five years(instead of the current six years), and four weeks of paid vacation after ten years, matching the Saskatchewan standard.

Below is a table of the minimum paid leave and paid public holidays(combined)in countries around the world.

Australia 27
Austria 35
Belgium 30
Canada 18
Denmark 39
Finland 33
France 31
Germany 30
Greece 26
Ireland 29
Italy 33
Japan 10
Netherlands 20
New Zealand 27
Norway 27
Portugal 35
Spain 34
Sweden 25
Switzerland 20
United Kingdom 20
United States 0

Source: Canadian Labour Congress

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