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Canada's vacation politics

Canada's vacation politics

Old Jul 4th 2017, 6:57 pm
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Default Re: Canada's vacation politics

That's what we tell people anyway. If I told you the truth I'd have to kill you
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Old Jul 4th 2017, 7:20 pm
  #32  
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Default Re: Canada's vacation politics

Originally Posted by dgagitw View Post
I get 5 weeks here, not all companies are so miserly....
i get 5 weeks plus a further 10 day shut down at Chrimbo and all stat holidays so that is about 40+days per year ..which means i get more holiday than i did in the UK..where i had 26 days plus bank holidays..but i had to take a min of 5 of my days for Chrimbo.

Trouble is i never take my full compliment..thus far i have used zero of my 5 weeks.
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Old Jul 4th 2017, 8:07 pm
  #33  
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Default Re: Canada's vacation politics

Originally Posted by raindropsandroses View Post
Que?
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In a career spent battling some 2,000 oil well fires, Adair cut a heroic figure in his trademark red overalls. But this hero didn't bother with a secret identity. He embraced the heat of the blaze and the glare of the public spotlight with equal relish, and he took full advantage of the wealth his exploits earned. John Wayne played him in a movie (the Hellfighter), he guested on all the major TV talk shows,
Every time there was a problem in the news it was "send for Red Adair."

He was like a One-man International Rescue.

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Old Jul 4th 2017, 8:19 pm
  #34  
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Default Re: Canada's vacation politics

Originally Posted by cheeky_monkey View Post
Trouble is i never take my full compliment..thus far i have used zero of my 5 weeks.
Well, yes, it's not usual to take the full complement of holiday days so the number of days nominally offered isn't that important. For example, it's common to expect people to work days that are holidays in Canada but not the US so Boxing Day, for example, tends to be a busman's holiday. Boxing Day would count in the number of statutory holidays above even if one cannot actually take it off.
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Old Jul 4th 2017, 8:58 pm
  #35  
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Default Re: Canada's vacation politics

Originally Posted by lukesmith2 View Post
I wanted to start another thread to discuss with other expats how they feel on the subject of vacation in Canada and how they handle it with being so far away from family and having such little time off.

My opinion and story:

I am moving back to the UK in January, after just a year in the great white north I quickly discovered summer is very short and winter is long and arid and cold. One of the biggest parts of my decision to move back is vacation, travel was easy around the world from the UK as its affordable for the masses, taking vacation was easy also. In my profession 5 weeks holiday was obtainable from start date with all my jobs I had.

So here in Canada I have to do with a measly 2 weeks, I tried to get 4 when I started and was told after 6 months they will review it, well that happened and nothing changed, let alone that my boss doesn't want me to take any vacation as they need me at work (part of the reason I was hired is a total lack of resource in my profession here in Canada). So everybody turns on me when I take vacation. I'm not alone either my girlfriend who moved with me is just a dental admin and the same happens with her. Sure I have a nicer apartment than I would have in the UK, and overall more disposable income, but for the minor lifestyle advantage the old cliché of ''money doesn't by happiness, comes to mind''. I took 2 weeks this year and a week unpaid I had a fight to get the week off unpaid and complete awkwardness and an argument with the owner of the company over it.

I talked to colleagues and have interviewed for other jobs in my profession here and vacation is a huge deal over here. Of course I knew that I only had 2 weeks when I moved out here, and read of forums about taking unpaid time and was prepared to do it. The pure fact is even if you get 2 weeks or 3 weeks your employer wants you to take that, and thats all in most circumstances, no unpaid, no nothing.

Also this is a sad story, one of the people who works at a different company who I'm friends with, he went back to Germany as his dad was dieing of cancer, this was in January, when he was there his dad died, he was off for a total of one whole month. His company did not pay him for 2 weeks of it, and the other 2 weeks were vacation. So now he has no vacation for the whole year, and he didn't get paid, also the company is treating him like sh*t, and making him do all the awful jobs, as if punishing him for it. WTF is going on here? LOL.

After all what is the point in all the working if you can't travel and can't see your family.

I don't blame you for feeling the way you do. In the UK I had 25 days plus bank holidays. Sometimes I didn't know what to do with them all. My first job back in Canada and I had to earn 2 weeks after one year of work. I took one unpaid week to visit family in the first year and co-workers were congratulating me since no one was taking vacation. It made me realize that vacation is seen more as a privilege than a right over here.
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Old Jul 5th 2017, 8:56 pm
  #36  
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Default Re: Canada's vacation politics

I think people's experience of holiday varies widely and it's up to the individual to be informed about what they are getting into and not to jump at the first job offer. I moved back to Canada last year after enjoying the 5 weeks holiday in the UK and I wasn't too hopeful about the holiday allowance. I would have been happy with 3 weeks but ended up in a job that has 4 weeks - I had to accept a bit lower pay than other places as the holiday time was more important to me. I had a few job offers on the table and some were only two weeks, so that really influenced what path I took.

Good employers want their staff to feel rested, so I would definitely push back and question the type of work culture where there are such stingy holiday allowances. There are some good places out there that want to look after their staff!
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Old Jul 5th 2017, 9:34 pm
  #37  
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Default Re: Canada's vacation politics

Originally Posted by Left Eye View Post
I think people's experience of holiday varies widely and it's up to the individual to be informed about what they are getting into...

Good employers want their staff to feel rested, so I would definitely push back and question the type of work culture where there are such stingy holiday allowances. There are some good places out there that want to look after their staff!
I agree with this. Although 10 days + stats is the legal minimum across Canada in practice it varies so much between industries and companies that any generalization is largely irrelevant.

I even have one client whose vacation policy is "take as much vacation as you want or need. Just make sure your work is covered."
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Old Jul 6th 2017, 1:27 am
  #38  
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Default Re: Canada's vacation politics

Originally Posted by JonboyE View Post
I agree with this. Although 10 days + stats is the legal minimum across Canada in practice it varies so much between industries and companies that any generalization is largely irrelevant.

I even have one client whose vacation policy is "take as much vacation as you want or need. Just make sure your work is covered."
Quite.

My employer starts everyone on 3 weeks. I get 4 due to position. Plus we get 3 days family leave as needed.
I've had 4 weeks vacation in all bar 2 of the 13odd years I've worked in Newfoundland.

A forward thinking employer (excluding the it pimping world of dbd) should want their employees to be rested, happy and productive. I accept that here as in the UK not all employers think that way and that conditions will vary from industry to industry and position to position. Ymmv as they say!
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Old Jul 7th 2017, 1:59 pm
  #39  
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Default Re: Canada's vacation politics

You're in Canada, not in the UK. What happens in the UK is irrelevant if you live in Canada.

The work culture in Canada is simple. It is up to you to determine how much you will produce and for what rewards. Those who produce more are rewarded more. When you do not feel you are being rewarded enough for what you produce, you are free to change jobs OR figure out how to be rewarded more.

If vacation time is important to you, then it is up to you to figure out how to get the time you want. There is no universal entitlement beyond 2 weeks legislated by law but there is also no limit to what you can negotiate if you are negotiating from a position of strength. ie. you're worth keeping happy because you are a top producer.

Some immigrants have what it takes to succeed in Canada, some don't.
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Old Jul 7th 2017, 2:16 pm
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Default Re: Canada's vacation politics

Originally Posted by Reeders View Post
The work culture in Canada is simple. It is up to you to determine how much you will produce and for what rewards. Those who produce more are rewarded more.
IME this is not true at all. People are not rewarded according to what they produce but according to a mixture of happenstance, nepotism and, sometimes, billings generated. Even when compensation is based directly upon billings generated that is not a level playing field as the person with the best connections is best placed to generate the most billings. Note that I don't say that this is unique to Canada, just that the Canadian workplace is not in any sense a meritocracy.

What is unique to North America, is that Americans and Canadians do not value holidays and tend not to take them. This is a difficult adjustment for people coming from other countries; those people will know that there are other countries than the US and Canada and will have reason to want to visit those places.

(I acknowledge Ax's points that not all workplaces are the same and that I work in fairly brutal sector, nonetheless I've been exposed to a lot of workplaces and these are my general impressions).
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Old Jul 7th 2017, 2:18 pm
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Default Re: Canada's vacation politics

Same for the company I work for. I used to have 5 weeks + stats, but it changed to something called 'Flex-time'. This basically means we can take as much as we want, so long as the work is done. The nice part is that it's related to bonus, depending on billable hours. If you take less vacation then you receive a higher bonus. I usually take 4-5 weeks and still end up with a bonus. Most people here are happy to take lots of vacation time.

This is in IT, where here at least there is a big demand for staff that is forcing companies to be competitive, but I think they're seeing the benefits of offering flexibility for their staff, based on morale and lack of staff turn over.
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Old Jul 7th 2017, 2:32 pm
  #42  
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Default Re: Canada's vacation politics

Originally Posted by Reeders View Post
You're in Canada, not in the UK. What happens in the UK is irrelevant if you live in Canada.
True enough. Bit bluntly put, but true enough. There is no point lamenting how worse things are in Canada. However it is useful to understand that a lower vacation entitlement is likely to be the case before emigrating. Part of the homework one needs to do.

The work culture in Canada is simple. It is up to you to determine how much you will produce and for what rewards. Those who produce more are rewarded more. When you do not feel you are being rewarded enough for what you produce, you are free to change jobs OR figure out how to be rewarded more
.

Erm massive generalisation klaxon. And no more true for Canada, as a whole than it is for UK as a whole.

If vacation time is important to you, then it is up to you to figure out how to get the time you want. There is no universal entitlement beyond 2 weeks legislated by law but there is also no limit to what you can negotiate if you are negotiating from a position of strength. ie. you're worth keeping happy because you are a top producer.
Well yes, and of course no. Ability to negotiate on vacation is a factor of role, experience, how badly a company wants to employ you vs how badly you need the job and corporate culture & policy. Some larger employers for example are unlikely to flex the policy for one particularly important new hire. Plus of course a junior/clerical/retail/hospitality role, as examples, probably has less leverage to negotiate anything.

Note something that a "top producer" such as yourself ever has to bother with I'm sure. Out of curiosity, what do you "produce"?

Some immigrants have what it takes to succeed in Canada, some don't.
Again true if a little blunt. Being an informed consumer (or immigrant) is essential for an eyes open immigration experience. This board can, at times help with that.

Welcome by the way. Care to tell us something more about yourself?
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Old Jul 7th 2017, 2:36 pm
  #43  
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Default Re: Canada's vacation politics

Originally Posted by dbd33 View Post
(I acknowledge Ax's points that not all workplaces are the same and that I work in fairly brutal sector, nonetheless I've been exposed to a lot of workplaces and these are my general impressions).
Much of your client experience I think is with US companies? My take is that vacation & general employment conditions are worse in the US than Canada. As in most things Canada follows the US lead, watered down a bit. Perhaps CETA will encourage a more European approach.
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Old Jul 7th 2017, 2:47 pm
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Default Re: Canada's vacation politics

Originally Posted by Atlantic Xpat View Post
Much of your client experience I think is with US companies?
By revenue, about 80% with 5% of income coming from inside Canada. By time at desk in client's office, about 60% in Canada. Geographically, I've sat at desks in all but 6 States but only in 3 Provinces. Dozens of US firms, maybe 10 enterprises in Canada. That's the nature of the North American economy.

Originally Posted by Atlantic Xpat View Post
My take is that vacation & general employment conditions are worse in the US than Canada.
I agree with this but think the gap between employment conditions in the UK and that in Canada is much greater than that between Canada and the US. The one feature of the Canadian job market I think unusual, apart from the limited time off, is the rampant nepotism. Even large firms take on the children of employees as summer students and then make them lifetime employees despite there being better candidates queuing around the block. They'll promote this as "supporting the local community" or similar.
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Old Jul 7th 2017, 2:55 pm
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Default Re: Canada's vacation politics

Originally Posted by dbd33 View Post
I agree with this but think the gap between employment conditions in the UK and that in Canada is much greater than that between Canada and the US. The one feature of the Canadian job market I think unusual, apart from the limited time off, is the rampant nepotism. Even large firms take on the children of employees as summer students and then make them lifetime employees despite there being better candidates queuing around the block. They'll promote this as "supporting the local community" or similar.
Oh yes, that was kind of the point. I haven't looked but wonder whether the US immigration board has the perennial "only 2 weeks vacation? Tell me it 'aint so?" threads?
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