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Annual Vacations

In Canada an annual pay vacation is the right of nearly every worker. In most jurisdictions any worker who has been at their job for more than one year is entitled to two weeks of paid vacation each year. In Saskatchewan, a worker who's been at their job for more than one year is entitled to three weeks paid vacation. And in most jurisdictions, if a worker stays at their job for a longer period of time they will earn more paid vacation time.

The jurisdiction in which you live will determine most of the rules regarding annual vacations.

What counts as one year's employment?

While you might think, "a year is a year," each jurisdiction has it's own way of determining when an employee has been employed for one year. In some jurisdictions it's measured by working days or shifts, in others by what percentage of working hours have been worked in a twelve month period, in still others the employee must simply have had a period of twelve months of continuous employment.

How much do I get paid while I'm on my vacation?

Vacation pay is usually set at 4% of your earnings in the year that established your right to a paid vacation. Just as with defining a year of employment, each jurisdiction has its own method of calculating vacation pay. In most jurisdictions, if an employee stays at their job long enough to earn more paid vacation time, they will also earn more vacation pay. Also, in general, laws require that vacation pay be delivered no later than the day before the vacation is to begin.

Who decides when I get to take my vacation each year?

Generally this is the employer's right. But in each jurisdiction there are rules that determine how soon after completing a year of employment a worker must be granted their vacation. The timing varies from four months following the completion of a year's service in New Brunswick and PEI, to ten months in seven jurisdictions, to twelve months in Alberta, British Columbia, Qu├ębec and Saskatchewan.

Can I (do I have to) take my vacation all in one block?

Most jurisdictions are specific about whether the employee has to take their vacation in blocks. However, the legislation for the federal government, Manitoba, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon Territory, provides for annual vacation without any stipulations about specifically how the time should be split up. In most cases, the employer can request blocks of vacation of one week at a time, but the employer cannot impose smaller blocks than that without the employee's consent. Also, in most cases, the employer must inform the employee of their vacation time from one week to four weeks ahead of time.

What if a Statutory Holiday falls during my vacation time?

In most jurisdictions, if a statutory holiday falls during an employee's vacation, a day will be added to the employee's vacation time, or another day off will be granted at another mutually agreed to time.

How do I make a complaint about my work situation?

Learn more about making a complaint in your jurisdiction

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