in Manitoba, regardless of
whether the organization operates in other jurisdictions.
While not required by law, for
ease of administration, some
organizations with multi-jurisdictional payrolls chose to have
one vacation policy applicable to
This means looking at the various pieces of employment/
labour standards legislation and
determining which has the most
generous provisions. In order to
ensure that the appropriate standards are being applied, the
policy must meet the minimum
requirement of the most generous jurisdiction.
Please also note that in many jurisdic-
tions, leaves of a personal nature are
legislated under employment and
Steven Van Alstine, Canadian Payroll Association
dictions, an employer cannot
schedule an employee’s annual
vacation in periods of less than
one or two weeks.
Please also note that in many
jurisdictions, leaves of a personal
nature are legislated under
employment and labour standards. Such leaves can be for
care of a family member, personal emergency, family responsibility or sickness.
We’re into the summer months and the ques- tions below deal with
some of the more common concerns related to vacation time
and entitlement from the CPA’s
publication Your Vacation Questions Answered.
Question: Our organization is
based in Ontario, but we provide
services across Canada. What is
the minimum standard vacation
time we must provide to our
employees? Two or three weeks?
Answer: Some organizations
with multi-jurisdictional payrolls
chose to have one vacation policy
that is applicable to all
employees. This requires looking
at the various pieces of employment/labour standards legislation
and determining which has the
most generous provisions — to
ensure that the standards are met
in all jurisdictions, the policy
must meet the minimum requirement of the most generous jurisdiction.
Currently, the most generous
vacation entitlements across the
country are the following:
• Initially, Saskatchewan has
the most generous vacation pro-
visions, with three weeks of
vacation time and 3/52 (about
5. 8 per cent) of annual earnings
for vacation pay.
• After five years, Alberta,
British Columbia, Manitoba and
Quebec offer the most generous
vacation provisions, with three
weeks of vacation time and six
per cent vacation pay.
• After 10 years, Saskatchewan has once again the most
generous vacation provisions,
with four weeks of vacation time
and 4/52 (about 7. 7 per cent) of
annual earnings for vacation pay.
Question: If an employee
uses a vacation day for their last
day worked, does the organization use this date as their last day
on their Record of Employment
(ROE) or should they use the last
day on which they were physically working?
Answer: If management
approves the vacation day, the
last day for which paid (Box 11)
is the vacation day. Both the
earnings and the hours of the
vacation day are insurable. No
entry is required in Box 17A.
If management does not
approve the vacation day, the last
day for which paid is the last day
worked and the employee will
receive a vacation payout. The
vacation payout is insurable
earnings with no insurable hours
and must also be reported in Box
to be paid out only after
employees have taken the minimum two weeks per year. Are
Answer: Each jurisdiction
differs in the treatment of
waiving vacation time. Except
for employees in the Yukon Territory, employees cannot waive
their rights to the legislated minimum vacation time without permission from the director of
However, your vacation policy
appears to be compliant because
you ensure that your employees
take the legislated minimum
sonal time off, they take vacation
Answer: Under employment/
labour standards, vacation pay
and vacation time are intended to
be given when an employee takes
their annual vacation. A company policy may provide for paid
leaves from work in addition to
vacation time, such as personal
days. These leaves are distinct
from vacation time and should
not be treated as the same.
Additionally, in some juris-
Steven Van Alstine, CPM, CAE is
the vice-president, education for the
Canadian Payroll Association and
can be reached at steven@payroll.
ca. Visit online at www.payroll.ca.
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Question: Our organization
has locations in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Ontario.
Does the organization have to
offer all employees three weeks
of vacation time upon hire
because of the Saskatchewan
Answer: If a company falls
under provincial/territorial jurisdiction, the minimum vacation
time and vacation pay entitlements are defined in the employment standards of the province/
territory where the employee
works. For example, the Manitoba employment standards are
applicable to employees working
Question: With respect to
vacation entitlement, is the entitlement period the earliest an
employee is able to take vacation
after date of hire? For example,
the entitlement period in Nova
Scotia is 10 months. So if one of
our employees was hired in January, would they not eligible for
vacation until November?
Answer: Each jurisdiction
requires the employer to establish a period during which an
employee acquires entitlement to
an annual leave. This period is a
recurring 12 consecutive months
when vacation pay is accrued.
This entitlement period (also
called reference period) could
start on the date of hire and end
12 months later. It could also be
a calendar year or any other
period of 12 months determined
by the employer.
The vacation time must be
taken within a period ranging
from four to 12 months after the
entitlement period, depending on
In your example, the employee
in Nova Scotia would be entitled
to take his vacation within 10
months after the established entitlement period, not 10 months
after he was hired.
Question: Our salaried
employees do not fill out timecards or timesheets. How should
the organization monitor their
vacation entitlements and balances, especially if the organization has salaried employees
taking leave of absences without
pay several times during the
year? Are there different ways to
Answer: Vacation time and
vacation pay entitlements do not
require special treatment for
employees who take unpaid
leaves of absence, except in the
province of Quebec, where
employees on sickness, accident,
maternity or paternity leaves are
entitled to a special vacation pay
All employees (excluding
Quebec employees on sickness,
accident, maternity or paternity
leaves) are entitled to:
• A legislated number of
weeks of vacation time based on
their years of service with the
• Vacation pay based on their
vacationable earnings for the
vacation reference year
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For example, Alberta
employees with 10 years of service are entitled to three weeks
of vacation time and six per cent
vacation pay. If such an employee
was on a four week unpaid leave
of absence, the employee’s vacation entitlements would remain
the same: three weeks of vacation time and six per cent vacation pay.
However, the vacation pay
will be a lower amount in this
case, as the vacationable earnings are reduced.
Includes a CD-ROM of more than 150 forms and precedents
including: letters of intent, search letters to employment standards
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Question: Our organization
currently allows excess vacations
Question: What is the difference between a personal day and
a vacation day? In my organization, they are treated as the same
thing. When employees need per-
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