More employees paying ‘time-off tax’: survey

Average of four extra days worked to make up for vacations

More employees paying ‘time-off tax’: survey
Twenty-two per cent of workers say they do not take all their vacation because their workload is too high

An increasing number of working Canadians anticipate putting in extra hours before or after a vacation this year, according to an ADP survey.

The so-called “time-off tax” is growing in both severity and scope: 66 per cent of working Canadians say they are likely to do extra work before or after their vacation, according to the survey of 1,562 workers.

“It’s troubling more Canadians are putting in extra hours and increasing the number of extra hours worked in order to take vacation,” says Hendrik Steenkamp, director of HR operations and advisory services at ADP Canada. “To avoid the effects of the time off tax, employers should ensure their teams are properly resourced during vacation times.”

The survey follows on the heels of another that found 50 per cent of workers  say they have been subjected to vacation shaming at work  when managers or colleagues employ guilt or negative pressure that discourages them from taking their full allotment of time off.

Employees who work extra hours anticipate spending an average of 16 hours on extra work before a vacation and an average of 17 hours on extra work after a vacation, says the study, which was done by Leger.

This represents an increase of 10 hours in total when compared to last year, says ADP.

And 22 per cent of workers say they do not take all their vacation because their workload is too high.

“Managers should promote a healthy work-life balance by encouraging employees to disconnect while away, alleviating pressure to check-in. This helps increase employee satisfaction and retention while reducing burnout and frustration,” says Hendrik.

The study also found:

  • about three in five workers, or 60 per cent, check-in with work at least once when on vacation, while 39 per cent check-in multiple times or daily
  • nearly half (48 per cent) of those 18 to 34 check in daily or multiple times, while 70 per cent check-in with work at some point while away
  • 30 per cent feel they have enough time off during the year and do not need to take the full amount
  • 25 per cent are stockpiling their vacation days for the future.

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