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New Year’s Resolution? Canada’s committed to work-life balance

New Year’s Resolution? Canada’s committed to work-life balance


As Canadians return from the holidays, new research finds they will work half as many hours to catch-up

TORONTO, January 3, 2018 – Does it feel like catching up after the holidays can be more taxing than relaxing? You’re not alone. According to the results of the most recent ADP Canada Sentiment Survey, almost three quarters (71%) of working Canadians report having to put in a substantial amount of extra work (11.4 hours on average) before and/or after a one week vacation. The good news is Canadians are putting in half as much extra working time around a vacation when compared to last year’s 21 hours. This means many won’t be chained to their desk following the holiday break.

“It can be exhausting to prepare for a vacation, both personally and professionally,” said David Heather, Vice President, People and Human Resources at ADP Canada. “It’s encouraging to see people working fewer extra hours to prepare for a break from work. This year, we have seen an emerging trend of companies adopting more flexible vacation policies. Many are moving away from a ‘one size fits all’ approach to more personalisation. This includes a small number of employers offering unlimited vacation or the ability to ‘flex’ your own holiday entitlement.”

While this is a positive shift, some employers may not be doing enough to ensure employees actually take all of their allotted vacation. Time off is critical to keep employees happy and engaged. Tired employees are less motivated, less productive and less engaged which can jeopardize both personal performance and the culture of a team.

The survey found only one in three workers take all of their allotted vacation time annually and more than a quarter (28%) reported taking less than half of their allotted time. Men are more likely than women to take their vacation; 37% of men take all of their vacation and 69% take more than half of their vacation days, versus 31% and 55% of women.

Other highlights:

  • Women are slightly more likely to say they will do extra work to prepare for vacation (74% vs 72%) yet men report actually needing more time (12.6 hours vs 10.5 hours).
  • Workers aged 35-44 say they need the most amount of time ahead of and/or following a vacation to get caught up, averaging 13.75 hours in extra time.
  • Workers in Quebec work the least around a vacation at 10.48 hours, compared to 12.97 hours for Western Canadians, who work the most hours.
  • Western and Eastern Canadians are the most likely to take all of their vacation.


“Employers have an obligation to ensure their employees are able to use vacation time to unwind and recharge,” added Heather. “Organizations can create a more positive outlook on vacation among employees by communicating vacation policies proactively, encouraging staff to book time off and leading by example. This is especially important as employers ask themselves how to set the right tone for employees and be successful in 2018.”

Survey methodology

A survey of 1,000 working Canadians was completed online between December 5 and December 11, 2017, using Quest Global Research Group’s online panel, Quest Mindshare.


About ADP Canada

ADP Canada gives organizations of every size the tools to help their people thrive. From basic payroll to complex people management systems and analytics, we help business leaders make better decisions. Our clients trust ADP to provide strategic insights and on-demand expertise to build and inspire the workforce they need. Visit us at or follow us on Twitter @ADP_CDA.

For further information:

Erin Griffin
Kaiser Lachance Communications
647-725-2520 ex. 221   

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