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Please Help - Annual / Sick Leave in Canada

Please Help - Annual / Sick Leave in Canada

Old Sep 11th 2015, 5:49 pm
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Default Please Help - Annual / Sick Leave in Canada

Hello All!

I am currently in Sydney Australia, moved here from London 3 years ago, and now have an opportunity to move to Canada with work next year. However, my research on Canadian employment standards has left me a bit baffled/shocked, specifically:

1) Annual Leave entitlements

UK - 25 days, 100% Pay
Australia - 20 days, 100% Pay
Canada - How many days? And do you get paid as usual while on holiday - i.e. 100%?
I read on some Canadian government website that you only get 10 days? That is almost unthinkable for a first world economy, practically barbaric by UK/European standard...

2) Personal/Sick Leave entitlements

UK - I don't recall this being specifically mentioned in my employment contracts back in London, but I used to take roughly 10 days off annually on health grounds (mostly during flu seasons in the winter) and was never questioned, and get paid as usual.
Australia - 10 days statutory sick/personal leave annually, fully paid also. My employer here in Australia even indirectly encourages us to use these to extend our annual holidays.
Canada - How many days? And do you get paid as usual?
I struggled to find any information regarding sick/personal leave entitlements on Canadian government websites... does it actually exist? If not, then Canada has fallen behind even some third world countries How do you guys manage when you are terribly sick?

3) Bank Holidays

UK - 3 days a year, fully paid extra holiday, applies to almost everyone.
Australia - 2 days a year, fully paid extra holiday, applies to people working in the banking sector.
Canada - How many days? And do you get paid as usual?
Once again, there does not appear to be any information about this on the internet... does Canada have bank holidays? If not, then it is not really a Commonwealth country then... even India has bank holidays as far as I know...

It would be great if experienced members on this forum could share their experiences on the above topics regarding working in Canada. For your information, my employer is an European bank with offices in both Australia and Canada, the opportunity arising is based in Toronto, Ontario.

Look forward to hearing from you all and thank you in advance for your advice!

Last edited by Notsosure; Sep 11th 2015 at 6:39 pm.
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Old Sep 11th 2015, 5:58 pm
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Default Re: Please Help - Annual / Sick Leave in Canada

Originally Posted by Notsosure View Post
Hello All!

I am currently in Sydney Australia, moved here from London 3 years ago, and now have an opportunity to move to Canada with work next year. However, my research on Canadian employment standards has left me a bit baffled/shocked, specifically:

1) Annual Leave entitlements

UK - 25 days, 100% Pay
Australia - 20 days, 100% Pay
Canada - How many days? And do you get paid as usual while on holiday - i.e. 100%?
I read on some Canadian government website that you only get 10 days? That is almost unthinkable for a first world economy, practically barbaric by UK/European standard...

2) Personal/Sick Leave entitlements

UK - I don't recall this being specifically mentioned in my employment contracts back in London, but I used to take roughly 10 days off annually on health grounds (mostly during flu seasons in the winter) and was never questioned, and get paid as usual.
Australia - 10 days statutory sick/personal leave days annually, fully paid also. My employer here in Australia even encourages employees to use these to extend their annual holidays.
Canada - How many days? And do you get paid as usual?
I struggled to find any information regarding sick/personal leave entitlements on Canadian government websites... does it actually exist? If not, then Canada is falling behind even some third world countries

3) Bank Holidays

UK - 3 days a year, fully paid extra holiday, applies to almost everyone.
Australia - 2 days a year, fully paid extra holiday, applies to people working in the banking sector.
Canada - How many days? And do you get paid as usual?
Once again, there does not appear to be any information about this on the internet... does Canada have bank holidays? If not, Canada is not really a Commonwealth country in this regard.

It would be great if experienced members on this forum could share their experiences on the above topics regarding working in Canada. For your information, my employer is an European bank with offices in both Australia and Canada, the opportunity arising is based in Toronto, Ontario.

Look forward to hearing from you all and thank you in advance!


The North American work ethic is a crazy beast. I don't understand it at all. But I think the important thing from your point of view is not what others do, it is what your company is prepared to offer you.

We would have never moved for my husband to get two weeks off a year but he's self employed so can do whatever he wants.
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Old Sep 11th 2015, 6:18 pm
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Default Re: Please Help - Annual / Sick Leave in Canada

For BC:

Vacation https://www.labour.gov.bc.ca/esb/facshts/annualfact.htm

For sick pay, you can take time off for being sick, if you get paid depends on your employer, I've yet to work anywhere with sick paid time off. If it's longer term sick leave you may be able to get Employment Insurance, but for a general 2-3 days off for being sick, depends on your employer.

Bank Holidays are called Stat Holidays in BC and there are 10 of them.

You may get paid holiday pay for stat holidays if your eligible, you may or may not get the day off depending on what profession your in.

https://www.labour.gov.bc.ca/esb/fac...y_holidays.htm


Each province have their own variations of labor rules, so you will need to look up each province, the above links are for BC only.


If you want government mandated time off, Canada is not the place to be. If your important enough to your employer, you might be able to negotiate more time off, but for your general worker who isn't vital importance to the company/employer you may not have any room for negotiation.

Last edited by scrubbedexpat091; Sep 11th 2015 at 6:20 pm.
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Old Sep 11th 2015, 6:21 pm
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Default Re: Please Help - Annual / Sick Leave in Canada

The minimum vacation in Canada is 10 days (better than the US where I think it's actually 0 days). Employers may offer more, it depends on the industry and the job.

Sick days will largely depend on your employer - there is no obligation to pay for sick days. My employer pays for sick days, for example.

They are not really called Bank Holidays in Canada, they are called statutory holidays. The list for Ontario is here

Statutory holidays in Ontario

I get all the statutory holidays off and fully paid.
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Old Sep 11th 2015, 6:27 pm
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Default Re: Please Help - Annual / Sick Leave in Canada

Originally Posted by Jsmth321 View Post
For BC:

Vacation https://www.labour.gov.bc.ca/esb/facshts/annualfact.htm

For sick pay, you can take time off for being sick, if you get paid depends on your employer, I've yet to work anywhere with sick paid time off. If it's longer term sick leave you may be able to get Employment Insurance, but for a general 2-3 days off for being sick, depends on your employer.

Bank Holidays are called Stat Holidays in BC and there are 10 of them.

You may get paid holiday pay for stat holidays if your eligible, you may or may not get the day off depending on what profession your in.

https://www.labour.gov.bc.ca/esb/fac...y_holidays.htm


Each province have their own variations of labor rules, so you will need to look up each province, the above links are for BC only.
Hi Jsmith, thank you for your reply

I have actually phoned up both the Ontario Ministry of Labour and the Canadian Federal Labour Department.

I was advised that because my profession / industry (banking) is federally regulated, I would be subject to the national federal labour regulations, and Ontario provincial labour regulations would bear minimal relevance.

Do you know if employers in the Banking sector in Canada are more generous with leave entitlements? I really don't think I can put up with 10 days of annual leave and no paid sick leave... I may as well move and work in a labour camp in North Korea... lol

Last edited by Notsosure; Sep 11th 2015 at 6:35 pm.
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Old Sep 11th 2015, 6:34 pm
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Default Re: Please Help - Annual / Sick Leave in Canada

Originally Posted by bc2015 View Post
The minimum vacation in Canada is 10 days (better than the US where I think it's actually 0 days). Employers may offer more, it depends on the industry and the job.

Sick days will largely depend on your employer - there is no obligation to pay for sick days. My employer pays for sick days, for example.

They are not really called Bank Holidays in Canada, they are called statutory holidays. The list for Ontario is here

Statutory holidays in Ontario

I get all the statutory holidays off and fully paid.
Hi bc2015, thank you for your reply

The list you quoted is actually called "Public Holidays" in the UK. Bank Holidays are a sub-set of UK Public Holidays in addition to the traditional holidays.

Would you mind if I ask how many extra vocation days on top of the 10 minimum days your employer offer? And how many paid sick days they give you?

Last edited by Notsosure; Sep 11th 2015 at 6:42 pm.
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Old Sep 11th 2015, 6:37 pm
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Default Re: Please Help - Annual / Sick Leave in Canada

Originally Posted by Notsosure View Post

1) Annual Leave entitlements

Canada - How many days? And do you get paid as usual while on holiday - i.e. 100%?
The legal minimum paid vacation is 10 days. After 5 years service it is 15 days.

2) Personal/Sick Leave entitlements

Canada - How many days? And do you get paid as usual?
Zero days by law. No work = no pay.

3) Bank Holidays

Canada - How many days? And do you get paid as usual?
Plenty of information if you look. Ontario have 9 and you get paid for them.

These are the minimum legal standards. There is nothing to stop you negotiating more with your employer. Many do.

I have to say that if you get this outraged this easily it may be better to stay in your comfort zone.
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Old Sep 11th 2015, 6:40 pm
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Default Re: Please Help - Annual / Sick Leave in Canada

Originally Posted by Notsosure View Post
I really don't think I can put up with 10 days of annual leave and no paid sick leave... I may as well move and work in a labour camp in North Korea... lol
Then it doesn't sound like Canada is the place for you tbh. Have you read this? Annual Leave-Canada : British Expat Wiki

Bottom line is that asking other forum members what leave they get is a bit of a pointless exercise as it's so job and industry dependent. Many people can negotiate more than the 10 days, others are stuck with it. Until you're offered a job, you won't know whether or not you'll be able to get more and if it's a deal breaker for you if you're only offered 10, then it might not be worth you moving. But if your company wants to transfer you, then presumably you have the upper hand and can negotiate hard to get what you want?

Good luck.
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Old Sep 11th 2015, 6:43 pm
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Default Re: Please Help - Annual / Sick Leave in Canada

Originally Posted by Notsosure View Post
Hello All!

3) Bank Holidays

UK - 3 days a year, fully paid extra holiday, applies to almost everyone.
Australia - 2 days a year, fully paid extra holiday, applies to people working in the banking sector.
Canada - How many days? And do you get paid as usual?
Once again, there does not appear to be any information about this on the internet... does Canada have bank holidays? If not, then it is not really a Commonwealth country then... even India has bank holidays...

It would be great if experienced members on this forum could share their experiences on the above topics regarding working in Canada. For your information, my employer is an European bank with offices in both Australia and Canada, the opportunity arising is based in Toronto, Ontario.

Look forward to hearing from you all and thank you in advance for your advice!
Bank Holidays

The relevant government websites differ from the info above.

There are 8 bank holidays in the UK...the employer doesn't have to pay employees. There are 7 in Australia.

I easily found bank holidays for Ontario...Statutory holidays in Ontario
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Old Sep 11th 2015, 6:50 pm
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Default Re: Please Help - Annual / Sick Leave in Canada

Or from the horse's mouth:

Public Holidays | Ministry of Labour
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Old Sep 11th 2015, 6:52 pm
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Default Re: Please Help - Annual / Sick Leave in Canada

As stated before, its really a case of what your employer is willing to offer you. I came to Toronto to work for a company which was a Canadian branch of a British Company. I got 3 weeks annual leave when I first arrived which increased to 4 weeks after 4 years, would have gone to 5 if I had stayed a further 8 years. Sick leave was also paid. I have generally found that people who have more than the usual leave allowance tend to work for European based companies.
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Old Sep 11th 2015, 6:55 pm
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Default Re: Please Help - Annual / Sick Leave in Canada

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post
Then it doesn't sound like Canada is the place for you tbh. Have you read this? Annual Leave-Canada : British Expat Wiki

Bottom line is that asking other forum members what leave they get is a bit of a pointless exercise as it's so job and industry dependent. Many people can negotiate more than the 10 days, others are stuck with it. Until you're offered a job, you won't know whether or not you'll be able to get more and if it's a deal breaker for you if you're only offered 10, then it might not be worth you moving. But if your company wants to transfer you, then presumably you have the upper hand and can negotiate hard to get what you want?

Good luck.
Hi Christmasoompa, thank you for your reply

I think maybe you are right, with 25 days paid annual leave, 10 days paid sick leave plus 11 public holidays a year, that is a total of almost 2 months if you take into account the intervening weekends, I probably should reconsider the UK and abandon the Canada thought...
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Old Sep 11th 2015, 6:56 pm
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Default Re: Please Help - Annual / Sick Leave in Canada

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
Bank Holidays

The relevant government websites differ from the info above.

There are 8 bank holidays in the UK...the employer doesn't have to pay employees. There are 7 in Australia.

I easily found bank holidays for Ontario...Statutory holidays in Ontario
So BC has more stat (or bank holidays if one prefers) then the UK and Australia and if eligible we get paid for them. Currently at 10 stat holidays.

Assuming one is in a profession that doesn't work holidays and you actually get those days off from work.

Last edited by scrubbedexpat091; Sep 11th 2015 at 6:59 pm.
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Old Sep 11th 2015, 7:04 pm
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Default Re: Please Help - Annual / Sick Leave in Canada

Originally Posted by HGerchikov View Post
As stated before, its really a case of what your employer is willing to offer you. I came to Toronto to work for a company which was a Canadian branch of a British Company. I got 3 weeks annual leave when I first arrived which increased to 4 weeks after 4 years, would have gone to 5 if I had stayed a further 8 years. Sick leave was also paid. I have generally found that people who have more than the usual leave allowance tend to work for European based companies.
Thank you HGerchikov, that's some encouraging information! Guess I will just have to wait bargain hard with HR if I decide to give Canada a go.

I also just read that the Canadian "Universal Healthcare" does not cover prescription charges and simple dental works! I'm gonna miss my cheap prescriptions and £50 dental fillers and cleaning on the NHS!
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Old Sep 11th 2015, 7:09 pm
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Default Re: Please Help - Annual / Sick Leave in Canada

The holiday question gets asked regularly, and as bad as Canada is on paper, most people on here report that they get decent holiday and sick benefits (the caveat being that this is a self selecting group of people who tend to be in their prime career wise).
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