Study: Canada Ranks Third-Worst for Paid Vacations

B.C. workers are guaranteed a minimum of 20 paid days off annually.

B.C. employees are entitled to 20 paid days off each year, among the lowest in the developed world

Canada ranked third-worst for mandated time off work among 21 developed world nations in a study by the Center for Economic Policy and Research, an American think tank. We outranked only Japan and the U.S., where employers are not obligated to provide paid time off. The good news? B.C. has the second-highest number of required paid vacation days in Canada. Every province mandates at least 2 weeks paid leave annually. However, some jurisdictions have more paid holidays:

Saskatchewan 9 days (and three weeks paid annual leave)
British Columbia 10 days
Northwest Territories 10 days
Yukon 9 days
Alberta 9 days
Ontario 9 days
Quebec 8 days
Manitoba 8 days
New Brunswick 7 days
Newfoundland 6 days
Nova Scotia 5 days

B.C. employment law mandates two weeks of paid vacation time, and a third if you’ve been with the same employer for more than five years. Every jurisdiction in Canada mandates a minimum two weeks paid vacation to all workers, with the exception of Saskatchewan which guarantees three.

Legally mandated vacation time and statutory holidays combine to give B.C. workers a minimum of 20 paid days off each year. Employees in Alberta and Ontario are guaranteed a base of 19 paid days off annually.

Employees are entitled to vacation leave and vacation pay under the Employment Standards Act, the amount of leave and pay to which they’re entitled is set out in the ESA,” he says. “Beyond that employees and employers can agree to additional entitlements as terms of their contract,” says Matthew Cooperwilliams, a partner specializing in employment law at Harris & Company LLP.