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Albertans take fewer sick days than most Canadians

Last Updated Aug 30, 2017 at 2:05 pm MST

Government sector employees continue to take more sick days than private sectors workers.

The latest numbers from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) show people who work for the government in Alberta took an average of 6.5 sick days in 2016 compared to 5.1 in the private sector.

CTF Interim Alberta Director Colin Craig explained that’s a difference of 67 per cent.

“So there’s a huge opportunity for savings if governments could get those sick leave days down, just down to what people who work outside of government take,” he explained.

But when you compare the amount of time Albertans take off work across both sectors, we all take fewer days off than every other province.

“Albertans take some of the lowest levels of sick days in the country,” said Craig. “It certainly suggests Albertans are ready to roll up their sleeves and work hard and actually Alberta government employees also take the lowest amount of sick leave when compared to other government employees in other parts of the country,”

The average national sick time taken last year was 11.2 days for government sector, with New Brunswick leading the way at 12.6, and 6.8 for private sector, lead by Quebec at 9.1 days.

Craig added the number of sick days used also continues to trend up across Canada.