Annual Leave-Canada

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Question: Is it true that you only get two weeks' annual leave in Canada?

Answer: Yes. [but please see caveats]

  • Most jobs start out with ten days annual leave. However there is no automatic holiday entitlement in the first year of employment. In BC for example an employer must give minimum 2 weeks of holiday only after 12 consecutive months of employment and at least three weeks after 5 years, so it is possible to receive even less than 10 days initially.
  • More senior positions can have more annual leave, sometimes working up to four weeks a year after a certain amount of time.
  • Some (but not all) companies shut down between Christmas and New Year, which effectively gives their employees another week to ten days of leave. Boxing day is not an official holiday in many provinces of Canada.
  • Be aware that there is some variation from one industry to the next and from one employer to the next.
  • With that having been said, the short amount of vacation can become something of an issue for an expat, particularly those used to 25 or 30 days holiday in the UK. You can expect a good chunk of your vacation time to be taken up by visiting the UK or by showing your rellies around your part of Canada when they come to visit you. This can cut into the time you might have wanted to spend visiting other parts of the world or even just other parts of Canada.