Workers say vacations too short for recuperation: Survey

But 89 per cent have not negotiated vacation time
|payroll-reporter.com|Last Updated: 06/21/2011

More than one-half of workers (55 per cent) in Quebec feel the number of weeks of annual vacation they're entitled to is not enough for them to rest and recuperate — up from 43 per cent last year, according to a survey released by the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés (CHRA). Almost one-half (42 per cent) of the respondents who feel their vacations are too short have two weeks off.

"These findings are of some concern when you think about the many physical and mental health problems tied to professional burnout. Managers have to safeguard this downtime for their employees as they need a period when they can relax and leave their work behind. Otherwise, the risk of absenteeism will rise over the long term," said Florent Francoeur, Ordre president and CEO.

Quebec workers usually take a little more vacation each year (2.24 weeks in 2011 compared to 2.18 weeks in 2010) but disparities still exist according to region, age and education, found the survey of 1,000 workers.

For example, fewer employees have two weeks off in the summer in Quebec City (27 per cent) than in Montreal (31 per cent) and the rest of the province (42 per cent).

Not surprisingly, it's often the youngest workers (aged 18 to34) who take only one week (18 per cent), found CHRA.

But workers don't tend to negotiate their vacation time when they're hired, according to 89 of respondents who said they hadn't done so.

"In our society, where everything is negotiated, you'd think that employees wouldn't hesitate to discuss their working conditions. It's surprising to learn that most of them don't dare negotiate their vacation. Yet organizations have some leeway in this respect," said Francoeur.

Number of weeks of vacation

2010

        2011

None

8%

        12%

Less than one week

12%

        3%

One week

10%

        10%

Two weeks

35%

        35%

Three weeks

14%

           1 %

Four weeks

10%

        11%

More than four weeks

9%

        7%

Don't know

3%

        4%

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