Typical life of a full time worker in Toronto

According to the law, Canadians in Ontario are entitled for only 10 personal/sick days which only 2 are paid and rest are unpaid. They only get 10 vacation days(also the pay is less than regular pay) after 1 year of employment.

In this case
1.What would be a typical day look like for a person who is working full time(if experience can be shared by IT professionals it would be great)?

2.Do people have enough time to spend with family and have personal time(may be read a book or go to a movie) as well apart from work on daily basis?

3.With the limited number of leaves (also the granted leaves are unpaid) do people take leaves? Will it be possible to take a leave to care for a sick family member(I assume that would be unpaid)?

4. Can a person take vacation to go abroad for about a month in once in may be two years?

5.How do people tend to have a work life balance?

I want to know more about work life balance, because I'm wondering how people manage their activities apart from work, with the limited leave options. I have a doubt whether people have only 1 or 2 hours(before going to sleep) in the evening to spend with the family after work and how they take care of the family if someone got sick(because no leaves). Work life balance is really important for me when taking the decision about moving to Canada. Appreciate your support.

Wow, that is a lot of questions, but all good ones.

1. Most full time positions are listed at 35-40 hours per week. Toronto is the business capital of Canada and the work ethic there is (by reputation) more extreme. This means that you could be putting in more hours than the position indicates.  By law, companies cannot force you to work more than what provincial law allows, but not working the same as your co-workers can affect promotions, bonuses etc. I, personally, have never worked more than 45 hours a week in the financial industry. A standard work week is five day on two days off, but many employers are trying to find "flexible" solutions. 10 days of vacation means two weeks off, plus statutory holidays (or days in lieu). This is the starting point. When I left my job, I had 5 weeks vacation, (after 10 year with the company) plus I could buy an extra week through my benefits. (This isn't usual.)

IT workers seem to work longer hours than other professions, but that will depend on the company. Many Canadian companies are coming to realise that work-life balance is integral to the performance of their employees.

2. Most people make time for what is important. I felt I had enough time to spend with my family and friends (of course, I would have liked more time off) and got to pursue leisure activities like going to the gym, reading, hiking, as well as getting the chores done.

3. Most companies will allow unpaid leaves once a certain amount of time has been put in with the company. Taking leaves like this could affect your company pension and also government sponsored pensions as well. (Assuming you meet the criteria.) I took a three month leave once to travel.

4. I often took a month off to travel. This usually means you have to take holidays in less popular times (May is usually a good month.) and may require you to coordinate with your coworkers to achieve your travel goals. I worked for one company that didn't want me to take any more than 2 weeks off in a row and encouraged using vacation time to make long weekends instead of extended leaves. I left after three years, mostly because of this policy.

5. As I worked in Vancouver (mostly), there was a lot more tolerance for work-life balance. I might show up for work a half hour early, but always left on time at the end of the day. I would generally have about 4 hours of time with my husband once I got home, assuming he got home on time as well.  We both walked to work. Toronto is a bit different, unless you live near your employer. (There are up and down sides to that.) Commutes in Toronto can be brutal, lasting a couple of hours each way, which really eats into personal time. (This happens in Vancouver, as well if people work in the city and live in the suburbs.)

A lot of how you work will be up to you and your personality type combined with the culture of the province, city, company. There are many sites that will rate companies by various criteria, so those might be important resources for you, if balancing your work and personal life is important. When interviewing for positions, I would be sure to clarify company expectations about work performance, as well as Corporate Social Responsibility. If a company has a good CSR policy, it's more likely to treat its employees better. Remember that jobs aren't just about how much they pay you, but what other benefits are offered. Do they help with gym memberships? Do they have a good health and wellness benefits? Can you use your sick days to care for family members or does the company offer wellness days? (Like a sick day, but for your mental health.)

Much of this will also depend on the job market. Some people will sacrifice all of that just to have steady income. Some people define themselves by what they do for a living and work is their life.  I don't know if this helps at all and I'd love to hear from IT peeps in TO, so see if I'm just suffering from "left coastism".

Good luck!

Thank you very much for the very detailed explanation. It was very helpful.

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