Whether it’s to another country, into the Canadian wilderness, or just a relaxing staycation at home, Canadians love their vacation time. So much so, that many Canadians take this into account when negotiating their employment contracts.
In fact, Canada was the only country that chose vacation time as their preferred benefits. 20 percent of Canadians said that they would prefer an additional week of vacation time, compared to a $500 salary increase. Clearly Canadians know their priorities!
With vacation time comes vacation policies for Canada. Companies and employees alike need to be aware of what the rules and regulations surrounding Canadian vacation policies to properly account for accurate payroll processing. There are many myths surrounding vacation policies for Canada and it’s important to know truth from fiction. If you don’t already, here’s four things you’ll need to know about vacation policies for Canada.
They’re Different in Every Province
That’s right, if you conduct business in only one province, you’ll only have to know your province’s vacation policies. However, if you conduct business and hire employees in multiple provinces, you’ll need to be aware of the differences to ensure proper payroll accuracy and ensure compliance.
If you have trouble keeping track of provincial regulations, it may be a smart investment for your company to enlist the support of a back office solutions provider, who can not only keep you informed on provincial differences, but handle all your payroll needs to avoid any mistakes or errors. Don’t leave your payroll to chance, trust the experts.
Vacation Policies for Canada—How it Works
Unlike Canada’s neighbours south of the border, it is mandatory for Canadian employers to offer vacation time to employees after one year of employment. Employees are entitled to two weeks of vacation time, except in Saskatchewan where the minimum is three weeks, and Quebec where the minimum is 12 days (one for every month of the year).
You may have noticed on your paycheque that every payday four percent, or six percent in Saskatchewan, is deducted for vacation pay. What does this mean? While vacation time may seem like free money, it’s actually an accumulation of a percentage of your paycheque. So, each pay period, four or six percent of your pay is withheld from you in order to pay for your time off.
For temporary employees, the accumulation of their vacation pay is given to them once they complete their employment with the individual business.
Can an Employer Reject a Request for Vacation Time?
When it comes down to it, yes, an employer does have the right to reject requests for vacation time. Vacation policies for Canada are not meant to harm businesses, and if your employer believes that the time you have requested may negatively impact their business, they have the right to reject your request.
While they have the right, most employers do not exercise this. It diminishes employee morale, and ultimately can leave employees feeling very bitter towards their employers. While employers can reject vacation time requests, many do not in order to keep their employees happy and productive.
The Use It or Lose It Rule
Many people have heard of the use it or lose it rule, but what does it mean? The use it or lose it rule only applies to extra vacation time granted to employees by their employers. For the minimum two weeks’ vacation, employers cannot implement a use it or lose it policy.
Employees must take two full weeks off within 10 months of the end of the vacation period. You should never be fearful that you’re going to lose your vacation time unless you receive over two week’s holiday.