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Vacation Policy

Last revision Last revision 05/11/2023
Formats FormatsWord and PDF
Size Size2 to 3 pages
Fill out the template

Last revisionLast revision: 05/11/2023

FormatsAvailable formats: Word and PDF

SizeSize: 2 to 3 pages

Fill out the template

This Vacation Policy is a document that highlights the minimum legal rights that an employee has regarding annual vacation time and pay. The document allows the user to input greater vacation periods than those provided by minimum employment standards laws.

Vacation time and pay are separate entitlements in most Provinces and Territories. The right to vacation time means the employee can take a leave from work after working for the employer for at least 12 months. Vacation pay means the employer will pay the employee a percentage of their 12-month gross earnings (4% or 6%).

If an employee ceases working for the employer, they are entitled to their vacation pay earned from the start to their last day of employment.

Employers must ensure that employees take their vacation. In many Provinces and Territories, the employee must take their vacation within ten months after they earned it.

Some Provinces require an employer to provide employees with written notice before asking them to take their vacation. In addition, many Canadian Provinces require that vacations be taken in at least uninterrupted periods of at least one week unless the employee requests otherwise.


HOW TO USE THIS DOCUMENT

This policy document is meant to be given from the employer to employees. If the employer has a physical office location, keep a copy of the Policy in a conspicuous place in the event employees also have the option of going to the office. This should be placed in a communal area such as the lunch room.

Employers should include this Policy in a new employee's welcome package to ensure they are familiar with workplace protocol and avoid any future doubt that they were unaware of a specific rule or company policy.

Employees should also sign the acknowledgement at the end of the document confirming they read and understand the Vacation Policy. The employer should then add a copy of the signed Policy to each employee's file.


APPLICABLE LAW

Employment laws are governed by each Province and Territory. For federal employees, the Canada Labour Code (R.S.C., 1985, c. L-2) applies. These laws establish the minimum requirements for vacation entitlement. In other words, employers may have policies in place that allow for greater vacation time, but it can never be less than the minimum requirements.

There are a number of obligations regarding early and differed vacation, vacation splitting and additional leave. There are some differences between the Provinces and Territories in Canada regarding the minimum entitlement to paid vacation (annual leave).

The following is an overview, by Canadian Province and territory, of the minimum vacation days based on the number of continuous years worked by the employee:


Quebec:

  • Less than 3 years = 2 weeks of paid vacation
  • 3 years and over = 3 weeks of paid vacation

Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nunavut, Ontario:

  • Less than 5 years = 2 weeks of paid vacation
  • 5 years and over = 3 weeks of paid vacation

Northwest Territories:

  • Less than 6 years = 2 weeks of paid vacation
  • 6 years and over = 3 weeks of paid vacation

Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick:

  • Less than 8 years = 2 weeks of paid vacation
  • 8 years and over = 3 weeks of paid vacation

Saskatchewan:

  • Less than 10 years = 3 weeks of paid vacation
  • 10 years and over = 4 weeks of paid vacation

Newfoundland and Labrador:

  • Less than 15 years = 2 weeks of paid vacation
  • 15 years and over = 3 weeks of paid vacation

Yukon:

  • No matter how many years worked = 2 weeks of paid vacation

Canada (Canada Labour Code):

  • Less than 6 years = 2 weeks of paid vacation
  • 6 years and over = 3 weeks of paid vacation
  • 10 years and over = 4 weeks of paid vacation


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