Canadians will receive an average of 17 vacation days from employers — an increase of one additional day over 2014 — but will take only 15.5 of those days, according to this year's survey by Expedia.ca. That represents close to 10 million unused vacation days this year alone.
Since the inception of the Vacation Deprivation Survey in 2003, Canadians have collectively left more than 350 million vacation days on the table, resulting in $53 billion in wages handed back to employers.
"For the past 13 years, the survey has uncovered an undeniable trend — Canadians are not living up to our friends across the pond when it comes to taking vacation," said Christopher Day, senior marketing director for Expedia Canada. "Unsurprisingly, a staggering number of Canadians (53 per cent) continue to consider themselves vacation-deprived."
WORK HARD, WORK HARD
For nearly one-third of Canadians (32 per cent), work schedules topped the list of reasons for leaving vacation days on the table, followed closely by saving for other obligations such as a house, tuition or paying off debt (29 per cent), and personal and family schedules ranked third at 24 per cent.
The survey also revealed that more than one million Canadians have not taken a vacation in over 15 years and more than 1.4 million Canadians have never been on a vacation in their lifetime.
"Over the years, we've noticed some recurring reasons as to why Canadians aren't taking full advantage of their allotted vacation time. Commonly, it's because things such as looking after family and focusing on their careers have taken priority," said Beverly Beuermann-King, stress and wellness expert, who has been associated with the program since 2003. "And, while investing in our jobs and families is important, so is investing in our physical and mental well-being. In fact, taking time off for yourself can often result in improved relationships with others and greater productivity."
While Canadians take about15 vacation days per year, people in these European countries, such as Spain, Denmark and France, take nearly double that amount – 30.
"Year after year, our survey has revealed that Canadians continue to be plagued with vacation deprivation," said Christopher Day.