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