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Old Posted Jan 22, 2019, 10:24 AM
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Paid vacation at Canadian jobs

I have been posting a lot of self-satisfied stuff about Scandinavia lately, which is probably annoying.

I don't spend all of my time here thinking 'what a great place'; it's grey, dark, expensive, and the buildings are short and un-dramatic. On a lot of days I think about coming home.

That said...

When I lived in Canada I remember getting two or three weeks of paid vacation at work.

This is a bit of a problem, coming home-wise, as I get seven here, plus all sorts of casual, untracked don't-come-in agreements around Christmas and the like.

Plus the workday is a lot shorter. Basically, it feels like I'd be in and around work a lot more often in Toronto unless I was self-employed.

But am I right? My brother tells me that working in TO is kind of like taking the plane – just like every seat probably paid a different price, so too does each employee have his own deal.

Is this true? And if it is, is seven weeks even something that some people are getting?

Five, even?

I could ratchet down a little bit, but if it goes too far I'd rather stay here and just visit a lot.
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Old Posted Jan 22, 2019, 10:46 AM
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Five weeks here. Unofficial half days only on Christmas Eve and NYE. You're definitely better off on average in Scandinavia. I don't know anyone with seven weeks - it's mostly two to four. Unless you want to fish for a few weeks and go on EI for the rest of the year. But it's not enough money to leave the island, ever, for anything.
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Old Posted Jan 22, 2019, 11:00 AM
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How long are the hours there?

I basically get 4 weeks, although officially get 3 weeks, as we get a week at Christmas but don't have to use vacation days for it.
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Old Posted Jan 22, 2019, 11:00 AM
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Feds are 3-6, depending on years of service.
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  #5  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2019, 11:15 AM
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This is encouraging. Four and five seem to be out there. Even six.
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Old Posted Jan 22, 2019, 11:37 AM
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I'm at 6 weeks here at a municipality, but it took me 25 years to get there. 35-hr work weeks.
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Old Posted Jan 22, 2019, 11:50 AM
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Canada is much closer to here than I thought. I must have had shitty deals before. Makes sense given the positions...
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Old Posted Jan 22, 2019, 12:27 PM
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I’ve never heard of anyone getting six weeks before. Five weeks would usually be where it tops out in the private sector, after many years of service.
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  #9  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2019, 1:36 PM
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2-3 weeks is standard early in your career. I'm a little over 2 years out of university and officially have 2 weeks, but get a week for free around Christmas as well, and get OT pay even though it's not required (or even common) in my industry. 37.5 hour weeks, but 35 is common.

As you go up in your career you get extra time off. The general rule I've heard of is one extra week for every 5 years of experience, and a 2-3 week baseline. So 10 years into your career you can expect 4 weeks, 15+ you can start to negotiate for 5+. Not many people I've seen with 7 weeks though.

This was actually the law in ontario for a few months before Doug repealed it - you were required to get 3 weeks after being with a company for 5 years, and 4 weeks after being with a company for 10.
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Old Posted Jan 22, 2019, 2:26 PM
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The federal government is pretty close to being the gold standard and they top out at around 6 weeks after about 20 years of service I think.

Some provincial governments are likely similar and many paragovernmental and association-type employers will pretty closely match what the feds offer.

The private sector in my experience is much more likely to offer "freebie" days off to employees between Christmas and New Year's. Generally the government does not as the optics would not be good with the general public.

Seven weeks as official paid leave is pretty much unheard of in my experience. Unless you're a schoolteacher of course, but then that's not really "paid leave" as you're not paid during the summer.

If you're starting in a pretty good white collar private sector job in Toronto, your chances are decent to get four weeks to start. Maybe five if you're a plum recruit. Obviously you can negotiate such things prior to being hired but I'd be really surprised if they were willing to go beyond five.

In fact, quite a few of them probably offer three weeks up front and will concede four and think they're being really generous to you.
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  #11  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2019, 2:37 PM
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I know Saskatchewan has a minimum of 3 weeks paid vacation, but the rest of the country has 2 weeks.

What you get definitely depends on your industry, where you're working and how experienced you are - of course, more in-demand workers or those in the public sector will get more vacation; while if you're starting out, less skilled, working in a smaller business, or on contract you can pretty well expect the bare minimum.

As someone in my late 20s who's been working in architecture for a few years, I only get 2 weeks plus a week at Christmas. Most of my peers seem to have 3 weeks. The only person I know with 4 or more weeks has been working at TD since they were a teenager.

It's pretty sad and definitely an area in which Canada lags behind the rest of the world (even countries with non-functioning governments like Yemen and Syria have more paid vacation than we do), and there appears to be no real drive to change it. Even the Social Democrat-leaning Wynne government who introduced some pretty bold pro-workers legislation would only make the timid step of mandating a minimum 3 weeks after 5 years of working at the same company (since repealed by Ford anyway, as already mentioned).

I guess as long as we're better than the US and their 0 weeks of paid vacation, it'll never change.
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Old Posted Jan 22, 2019, 2:45 PM
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I currently get 4 with the Provincial government which will go up to 5 this March. I started at 3 then went to 4 after becoming permanent - you move to 5 after 5 years of service IIRC. In reality it took about 8 years to get to 5 weeks vacation. I think it peaks at 6 or maybe 7 after 25 years.

My girlfriend currently gets 4 in the private sector (consulting firm) and is hoping to eventually go up to 5. In theory a week of that has to be taken over Christmas but in practice that's not a hard and fast rule. She has a lot of flexibility with working remotely too, which is partly why we will be overseas for 3 months. She'll be working on Toronto time 2-3 days a week and then remotely / out of the local office the rest of the time.

For some other examples a close friend of mine just started in a large corporation at the lower management level and was able to negotiate 4 to start. Another recently started at U of T as a research analyst and I believe also gets 4, however is trading some of that in order to concurrently do a second Master's. The worst I know of is an engineering firm that's technically only giving 3 weeks after almost 10 years of service (along with terrible benefits) - the management there really seems to feel they can take advantage of engineers as they are less likely to negotiate better perks. On the flipside they pay overtime so my friend was able to leverage busy periods to pay for a wedding.
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Old Posted Jan 22, 2019, 2:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonkeyRonin View Post

I guess as long as we're better than the US and their 0 weeks of paid vacation, it'll never change.
sorry to interject here, this is an area that i tend to perseverate over... it really depends on your industry and seniority in the united states (and it seems canada). engineering-type firms tend to be FAR more generous (for north america) with PTO, for example I have 4 weeks official vacation + 1 day (floating holiday) plus 6 days of sick leave....so nearly 5.5 weeks of PTO, which seems fairly standard (some firms offer 5 weeks vacation + sick time seperate). other industries are only 2-3 weeks standard (which is outrageous), but perhaps are less rigid with an office schedule. i’m not sure theres as big of a difference between the u.s. and canada if you work for a multinational.
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Old Posted Jan 22, 2019, 2:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post

If you're starting in a pretty good white collar private sector job in Toronto, your chances are decent to get four weeks to start. Maybe five if you're a plum recruit. Obviously you can negotiate such things prior to being hired but I'd be really surprised if they were willing to go beyond five.

In fact, quite a few of them probably offer three weeks up front and will concede four and think they're being really generous to you.
this sounds about like the u.s. (white collar or engineering multinational), although not right out of college. it has to be negotiated though, it won’t be given.
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Old Posted Jan 22, 2019, 3:06 PM
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The situation sounds quite a bit better than I thought, given my situation. Time to talk Toronto up, and Stockholm down.
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Old Posted Jan 22, 2019, 3:12 PM
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Canada’s curse is being next to the USA. I’ve heard iof workers there getting one week.
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  #17  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2019, 3:17 PM
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Canada’s curse is being next to the USA. I’ve heard iof workers there getting one week.
the plane analogy is good as described by kool maudit, in the u.s. instead of a (say) 737 its a 747-8 jumbo jet and some people get european level vacation (not just executives) in the luxury 2nd floor and some people are stowed with the luggage and dont get anything.
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Old Posted Jan 22, 2019, 3:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kool maudit View Post
The situation sounds quite a bit better than I thought, given my situation. Time to talk Toronto up, and Stockholm down.
Haven't heard a negative review of Toronto in a couple of years now. Even my most boring, suburban, middle-aged, Dad-jean-wearing relatives with Facebook group convos about Broadway plays are finding there whatever the hell it is they enjoy doing.

My next vacation abroad will be Dublin and Edinburgh in September - maybe Sarajevo if I can swing it - but after that I'd definitely like to see what all the fuss is about TO these days. I'm regularly hearing great things, and I mean excluding SSP.
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Old Posted Jan 22, 2019, 3:22 PM
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I get 5 week.
3 weeks I can use whenever and my studio shuts down where everybody gets 2 weeks paid off. Plus all stats in between.
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Old Posted Jan 22, 2019, 3:38 PM
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Originally Posted by niwell View Post
The worst I know of is an engineering firm that's technically only giving 3 weeks after almost 10 years of service (along with terrible benefits) - the management there really seems to feel they can take advantage of engineers as they are less likely to negotiate better perks.
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Originally Posted by Centropolis View Post
engineering-type firms tend to be FAR more generous (for north america) with PTO, for example I have 4 weeks official vacation + 1 day (floating holiday) plus 6 days of sick leave.

Funny comparison - I was going to say just based on my second-hand experience as well that the engineering world seems pretty bad for vacation time & general worker satisfaction. As per the engineers I've known, most of their workplaces sound like pretty joyless, utilitarian environments.

Big architecture firms are also notorious for working their employees to the bone; while smaller ones like mine tend to rely on contract workers and are just a bit more precarious (I'm lucky enough to at least be a salaried, full-time worker now). A lot of creative industries are similar as well.

Aside from public sector, the banks and tech industry seem to be the most generous with benefits & time off, and generally pay the most attention to worker satisfaction & retention.




Quote:
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Plus all stats in between.

Worth mentioning that we also have fewer stat holidays than most of the rest of the world as well.
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