Canadian Human Resources Benchmarking: Absence

The Conference Board of Canada, March 1, 2022
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This ongoing series examines the HR practices and metrics of Canadian organizations, specifically around turnover, engagement, diversity and inclusion, absence, and health and safety.

Document Highlights

  • In 2020, absence rates were similar to pre-pandemic levels. Employees, on average, took 10 days off per year.
  • Absences were higher in health care and social assistance industries, likely due to self-isolation protocols.
  • Larger organizations (5,000+ employees) had significantly higher absenteeism than smaller organizations. This may be a sign that employees in smaller organizations were striving to cover disruptions and may be languishing (the opposite of flourishing) or engaging in presenteeism.
  • Unlimited sick days were offered by 14 per cent of non-unionized organizations and 11 per cent of unionized organizations.
  • On average, organizations offered four personal days on top of sick days. Personal days are typically used for attending appointments, tending to family emergencies, moving, or taking a mental health day.
  • In late 2021, the Government of Canada introduced Bill C-3, which will provide 10 days’ paid sick leave to all federally regulated workers.
  • Starting January 1, 2022, all workers in British Columbia (including part-time employees) are entitled to a minimum of 5 paid sick days per year.

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