03/15/2013 10:31 EDT

Countries With Most, Least Vacation Time: Canada Near Bottom In Global Survey


Canada may have fallen out of the top 10 on the UN’s list of the world’s most developed countries, but here’s a ranking where the country never even stood a chance of cracking the top 10.

In fact, Canada sits squarely in the bottom five when it comes to mandated vacation time, according to a survey from human resources consultancy Mercer.

Among 62 countries surveyed for vacation and holiday time, Canada’s minimum 10 vacation days per year place it in the company of China (10 days), India and Indonesia (12 days each).

And it’s well below most Western European countries, which, according to Mercer, lead the world in leisure time for workers.

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At the very bottom? The U.S., with no mandated vacation time at all. (Though most employers will offer a minimum of two weeks.)

Canada and the United States are amongst the least generous nations when it comes to statutory holidays,” the report states, noting, however, that “some organisations provide up to six weeks’ vacation after 20 or 25 years of service.”

Wolfgang Seidl, head of Mercer’s health care consulting business, argued robust vacation policies can actually be good for business, not just employees.

“A break from the daily routine is essential in maintaining employee wellbeing,” Seidl said in a statement.

“Companies that keep holiday provision[s] as low as possible in order to reduce lost income from absent workers may find that their employees are less robust, in poorer health and crucially, less productive. It’s key to create a culture of health in the workplace and employees will take the message home with them and look after their health outside work as well.”

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