Labour Day Reality Check

Community News & Features Sep 8, 2017 at 2:05 pm

Gov’t employees take 65% more sick days than private workers

Government employees take an average of 11.2 days per year, while private sector employees take 6.8 days per year 

Statistics Canada data shows substantial differences by province and level of government

OTTAWA–The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) today released a comparison of employee sick day data as compiled by Statistics Canada, which shows a consistent gap between government and private sector workers.
“Curiously, there is a clear trend of significantly higher sick days among government employees compared to their private sector counterparts,” said CTF Federal Director Aaron Wudrick “Even worse, it appears that in most provinces, government employees are getting sicker every year.”

The gap between days lost to illness or disability between government and private sector workers ranges from a high of 70 per cent in New Brunswick (12.6 days to 7.4 days) to a low of 25 per cent in Prince Edward Island (10 days to 8 days). Quebec saw the highest number of sick days for government employees at 14.4 days annually. Federal (12.9 days) and provincial (11.7 days) government employees were calling in sick more than their local (8.9 days) government counterparts.

“It’s not obvious what is making federal government employees in British Columbia or provincial government employees in Quebec so unhealthy that they need to take 18 sick days per year,” added Wudrick. “But it is certainly an unhealthy development that governments should be cracking down on.”
For a detailed breakdown of sick days by province and level of government click: