Two thirds of Canadians admit to having to pay a "time off tax"


A new study might explain why you’re feeling extra stressed out right before or after going on vacation.

According to ADP Canada’s most recent Workplace Insight Study, many Canadians feel they have to work longer hours either before or after going on vacation—known colloquially as the “time off tax.”

According to this year’s results, 66 per cent of respondents said they expected to have to do extra work either right before leaving or right after returning from vacation.

The study, now in its fourth year, found that the average person would need to work an extra 16 hours before going on vacation or an extra 17 hours after returning from one.

“It’s troubling more Canadians are putting in extra hours and increasing the number of extra hours worked in order to take vacation,” Hendrik Steenkamp, director of HR Operations and Advisory Services at ADP Canada, said in a news release.

“To avoid the effects of the time off tax, employers should ensure their teams are properly resourced during vacation times. 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,” he continued.

The survey also found 60 per cent of Canadians had to check in with work while on vacation, while 39 per cent had to check in multiple times.

Younger Canadians, ages 18 to 34, were hit hardest by the time off tax, as they were four per cent more likely to have to work extra before or after a vacation than workers ages 35 and up.

Additionally, 70 per cent of younger Canadians had to check in with work at least once while on vacation, and 48 per cent had to check in multiple times.

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