Waiving Vacation Time
Summer is in full swing in most of the country which might mean vacation for some, hence the timing of this post. Employees who are entitled to vacation time under employment labour standards may or may not be entitled to waive their rights, depending upon the jurisdiction. It is important to understand that both vacation time and vacation pay are legislated. The waiving of entitlements refers to time only. The employer will still owe vacation pay. Vacation pay is defined as a percentage of vacationable earnings. Specifics for each jursidiction is listed below:
Canada Labour Code - can be waived providing the employer and the employee sign an agreement for a specific year. A new agreement must be signed each year.
British Columbia - Rights cannot be waived.
Alberta - requires employers to provide vacation time and employees to take the vacation.
Saskatchewan - a written agreement can be signed if there is a labour shortage, and the agreement must be filed with the director of labour standards.
Manitoba - Rights cannot be waived.
Ontario - can be waived with a written agreement and approved by the Employment Standards Director
Quebec - cannot be waived unless there is a special provision in a collective agreement or a decree allows for it. Where an employee is entitled to a third week, an employee may request to receive pay in lieu of time (called a compensatory indemnity) but only if the business closes for 2 weeks.
New Brunswick - Rights cannot be waived
Nova Scotia - full time employees cannot waive their rights. Employees who work less than 90% of regular working hours on a continuous basis for a 12 month period may waive their entitlement.
Prince Edward Island - Rights cannot be waived.
Newfoundland and Labrador - topic not covered in Labour Standards.
Yukon - can be waived if agreed to in writing.
Northwest Territories - an application can be made to the Director of Labour Standards to waive vacation entitlement in a specific year due to exceptional circumstances.
Nunavut - an application can be made to the Director of Labour Standards to waive vacation entitlement in a specific year due to unusual circumstances.