How Canadian Workers Will Spend the Last Week of the Year

38% of Workers Will Leave Vacation Days on the Table

Toronto, ON – Canadian workers will not leave the office very far behind – if at all – during the week of December 25th, according to Robert Half’s holiday survey. Sixteen per cent of employees plan to work the entire week. Of the 71 per cent of workers who will take at least part of Christmas week off, 48 per cent will check in with the office while they’re out.

Nearly half (46 per cent) of employees plan to take the entire week off. Fifty-six per cent of this group say it’s because their organization closes for the week; 68 per cent of them note their firm pays employees during the closure. For people who plan to work, 75 per cent expect to be at least somewhat productive. These findings are based on a survey of more than 400 Canadian workers. See an infographic of the survey findings here:

Does the end of the year mean workers reach a zero balance on vacation time? Not necessarily, according to a separate Robert Half survey of more than 500 workers in Canada. Thirty-eight per cent say they won’t use all their time off this year. Why not? The reasons vary.

Workers were asked, “What’s the primary reason you don’t use all of your vacation time?” Their responses:

Saving the time for something later


No money


Too much work to do


Feel guilty taking the time off


My boss discourages me from taking time off





Greg Scileppi, president of Robert Half, International Staffing Operations, offers the following points for workers and managers:

  • Be proactive. Check your time off balance and your firm’s rules on unused vacation days. “Use it or lose it” policies differ according to provincial laws, as well as individual employer policies. Don’t make assumptions or find out the hard way that you lost valuable time.
  • Find a way to unplug. Think twice about your rationale for skipping out on vacation. Employers offer vacation time for good reason. You’re less effective at work and have a higher risk for burnout if you don’t take a break. If you don’t have funds to take a trip, you can still relax and recharge at home with a staycation.
  • Talk to your team. Instead of emailing workers with high vacation balances to remind them to take time off, managers should have conversations one-on-one. In doing so, they may uncover the reasons why they’re not taking time, and help rearrange priorities or get extra help.
  • Set the example. Employees who never see their boss take time off or truly unplug from work may be less likely to do the same. Don’t make working around the clock the norm for your team.

Robert Half commissioned an independent research firm for both studies.

About Robert Half

Founded in 1948, Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company has 325 staffing locations worldwide and offers online job search and management tools at For career and management advice, follow our blog at Follow Robert Half Canada on Twitter at @RobertHalf_CAN for additional workplace advice and hiring trends.

Availability Status

Let us know you're ready to work with one click.

Update My Status

Set Your Status

Click the blue button on your profile page at least once a week to keep your status set to Available.

Set Your Status

Your status will automatically change to Idle and Unknown over time, so update it weekly while you’re looking for work

Update My Status