One of the biggest shockers for us UK peeps when moving to Nova Scotia (or any other part of Canada) is the holiday entitlement we are allocated in our new job.
I can’t fully remember what the entitlement was like for Richard’s job in the UK (I’m thinking 4 weeks or so) but I do know that working as an experienced nurse in Cardiff I was entitled to just over 6 weeks paid vacation…which could be topped up to 10 weeks if I planned my shifts right.
When we came to Canada and I decided to go back Nursing, my holiday entitlement was zero in the first year, apart from the six general holidays with pay, which are Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Nova Scotia Heritage Day , Good Friday, Canada Day, and Labour Day.
My vacation time was pro-rated during the first year of work……….WOW! What a shocker! (on the upside, the pay here was WAY better).
It’s not all doom and gloom though.
Richard was offered three weeks’ holiday entitlement with his first job here in Halifax, Nova Scotia, as well as the six general holidays mentioned above and additional non statutory days (eg. Victoria Day, Remembrance Day, Thanksgiving and Boxing Day). That took him to a nice healthy annual leave vacation allocation and allowed us to take some great vacations and travel around visiting other parts of Canada.
Coming from the UK, you can sometimes negotiate your holiday entitlement and in Rich’s case he did very well by negotiating more annual leave, based on what he was used to. Like I mentioned in a previous post, the British work ethic is well respected here and depending on how much your employer wants you, may determine the actual holiday entitlement you come away with. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want 😉
I’m not going to go into all the rules and regulations of Employment Law in Nova Scotia (because everything is regulated here….) but here’s a snippet of the Nova Scotia Worker’s Rights to vacation time:
“Employers must give employees vacation time of two weeks after each period of 12 months of work. This increases to three weeks once an employee has completed 8 years of service with the employer. An employee earns his/her vacation time during the first 12 months of work and every 12 months after that”. You can learn more at: http://novascotia.ca/lae/employmentrights/vacationleavepay.asp
I know compared to the annual leave entitlement in the UK (which, btw is the second highest in the world), this seems pretty paltry. However, compared to the US, Canada’s leave entitlement seems very, very generous.
ps. the lifestyle you’ll be living here can make you feel as though you are on permanent vacation 🙂
I would love to hear your thoughts…….
Jane and Rich