I hope you were not expecting travel tips when you clicked on the link to this Blog. While I do have some (Curacao for scuba diving, Sun Peaks for downhill skiing) that is not what I want to talk about today. Today we’re talking about how employers handle vacations for their employees.

In Ontario, after working for one year, an employee may take two weeks vacation. In theory, the 4% per paycheque is growing in an account with the employer and when the employee takes that vacation, the 4% fund has the money drawn from it to cover the pay during that time. In reality, many employers allow an employee to continue working and simply pay out the 4%, either each pay cheque or as a lump sum at the end of the year.

Paying employees their money instead of requiring them to take time off is a bad idea. It’s bad for the employee as they do not get a break from work, which can lead to illness, stress and/or boredom. All of the latter items do not lead to productivity for the employer, which is why it is also a bad idea for the employer.

All employers should require that vacation be taken as such and should have rules in place as to how many weeks in advance the vacation must be requested. A smart employer will also have written rules regarding whose requests get priority – trust me, you don’t want to have to “come up” with a reason why Sally gets the vacation time instead of Jane.

Now. For all the talk above about employees, let’s talk about the employers.

Hey, you! The backbone of the Canadian economy. The people who put personal assets on the line to fund the business. The people who stay up at night worrying about the employees: you need a vacation too. A real one. One where you put on a do not disturb bouncer and do not deal with the office.

The business thrives when employers and employees are engaged and motivated to work. We all need to take vacations, so let’s get to it !

Inga B. Andriessen JD
iandriessen@andriessen.ca