How Many Working Days Are There A Year In Canada in 2024?

How many days did you work last year? While we all know that there are 365 days in a year (or 366 in a leap year), many aren’t aware of how many working days a year there are in Canada.

On average, there are 250 working days per year in Canada. This number can vary by a few days, depending on whether it’s a leap year, the holidays you work or take off, and your personal work schedule.

Below, we’ll take a closer look at the Canadian work week, outline some of the main holidays Canadians take off, and look at the statutory holidays in each province.

What Holidays Do Canadians Typically Take Off?

These days, there’s a “holiday” for just about everything you could think of, from National Donut Day to National Spouse Day. While these are a great excuse to show appreciation for something or somebody out of the ordinary, they’re not statutory holidays.

Statutory holidays are days of the year that are observed on a federal or provincial level. On these days, government offices, banks, public schools, and postal offices are typically closed for business, and employees at these offices are given the day off.

Here’s a list of the public statutory holidays observed by the Federal government in Canada:

  • New Year: Sunday, January 1, 2023
  • Good Friday: Friday, April 7, 2023
  • Easter Monday: Monday, April 10, 2023
  • Victoria Day: Monday, May 22, 2023
  • Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day: Saturday, June 24, 2023 (Quebec only)
  • Canada Day: Saturday, July 1, 2023
  • Civic Holiday: Monday, August 7, 2023
  • Labour Day: Monday, September 4, 2023
  • National Day for Truth and Reconciliation: Saturday, September 30, 2023
  • Thanksgiving Day: Monday, October 9, 2023
  • Remembrance Day: Saturday, November 11, 2023
  • Christmas Day: Monday, December 25, 2023
  • Boxing Day: Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Some holidays celebrated on weekends, such as New Year, may also entitle employees to the following Monday off of work, as they would typically have the weekend day off anyways.

While statutory holidays are generally paid days off, employers may offer additional paid holidays at their own expense.

These holidays could include the employee’s birthday, company foundation day, or a floating holiday of the employee’s choice.

Conversely, unpaid holidays are days off that are not paid by the employer, which may be requested by the employee for personal or legal reasons.

These could include:

  • Sick days
  • Mental health days
  • Bereavement
  • Jury duty or court date

Optional Holidays

Optional holidays are days that are not mandated by law but may be recognized by employers or requested by employees.

Some employers may allow employees to take time off for holidays with personal significance, such as religious or cultural observances that aren’t on the list of federal statutory holidays.

For example, an employer might allow time off for Hanukkah or Diwali or allow a worker to take off the days that they attend a church, mosque, or temple.

Employers aren’t required to give their workers these days off, and some may require them to use their personal vacation time (paid or unpaid) to cover the time off.

Work Days By Province In Canada

The federal statutory holidays I mentioned above are observed by all provinces and territories in Canada. However, some provinces have their own statutory holidays related to local history and events.

This may entitle workers in these regions to a couple of additional days off each year. For reference, here’s a list of the work days by province in Canada, along with the number of statutory holidays observed in each:

Canadian ProvinceWorking Days In The ProvinceNumber Of Statutory Holidays
British Columbia25010
New Brunswick2528
Newfoundland and Labrador24614
Nova Scotia2546
Prince Edward Island2528

Newfoundland and Labrador leads the list with a whopping 14 paid statutory holidays per year, while Nova Scotia offers the fewest paid days off, with only 6 statutory holidays. All of the other provinces offer between 8 and 10 paid holidays to workers.

How Many Days Do Canadians Work Per Week?

Work Days By Province In Canada

The average Canadian works five days per week, averaging 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week.

If you work a typical job, it may be referred to as a “9-to-5,” which represents a standard 8-hour workday. That said, an 8-hour workday could just as easily be 8 am to 4 pm or 7 am to 3 pm.

Employees also don’t have to work Monday through Friday. Many jobs could split your schedule and have you working through the weekend with a couple of days off in the middle of the week. This largely depends on the industry they work in.

For example, restaurants are more likely to be closed on Sundays, Mondays, or Tuesdays, as these can be slower days. Often, restaurants and bars will capitalize on busy weekend days.

Monday through Friday schedules are most common in the corporate/finance industries (such as banking) and the construction/home service industries.

What Is The Difference Between Part-Time And Full-Time In Canada?

A full-time work week is defined as 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week by the Canada Labour Code.

However, employers may have their own definitions of full-time and part-time work. For example, some employers consider 30 hours a full-time work week, while others consider 40 hours a full-time work week.

What Are Overtime Laws In Canada?

Legally speaking, working over 40 hours per week entitles an employee who’s paid an hourly wage to overtime pay. Overtime pay is generally 1.5 times the employee’s standard hourly pay.

Certain salaried positions are exempt from this rule. Each province has its own laws on which type of employees are entitled to or exempt from hourly pay.

How To Calculate The Number Of Working Days In Each Year

Here’s a quick cheat sheet for calculating the number of working days you have available each year in Canada:

  • Step 1: Calculate how many days you work (excluding random sick days) each week
  • Step 2: Calculate the number of paid vacation days you’re allowed each year and add this to the number of standard working days
  • Step 3: Calculate the number of unpaid vacation days or holidays you plan on taking off that year, and subtract it from your total working days

This should give you the number of working days you have each year.

How Your Working Days Could Affect Your Finances

How Your Working Days Could Affect Your Finances

Here are some of the ways that the number of working days in a year could affect your personal finances.

Your Salary And Taxes

The more days you work, the more you can expect to get paid. Many employers offer additional pay to employees who are willing to work on statutory holidays, which could also contribute to higher earnings.

However, it’s also important to note that working and earning more may also subject you to higher income taxes on your paycheque. However, these will be averaged out at the end of the year, which could allow you to get a larger tax refund from the CRA.

Pension Contributions

The more days you work, the more you can contribute to your RRSP and other pension plans. Taking unpaid days off could result in lower pension contributions and may mean that you’ll have to work extra in the future to make up for it.

However, an unpaid vacation day could also allow you to take an opportunity you would have otherwise missed, such as a job interview at a higher-paying job.

Conclusion – Making The Most Of Your 250 Working Days

Assuming you work an average of 250 days per year, you’ll only work 68.5% of the year. It’s important to maximize this time and use it to your advantage. The more you invest in yourself and your career, the more you’ll be able to earn and the more comfortable you’ll be when it’s time to retire.

Picking up a flexible weekend side hustle can be another great way to add to your annual income and make up for the 31.5% of the year that most Canadians don’t work. Keep reading to see some ideas for high-paying side hustles!

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Author Bio - Christopher Liew is a CFA Charterholder with 11 years of finance experience and the creator of Read about how he quit his 6-figure salary career to travel the world here.

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