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Unpaid Vacation Time in Canada

Discussion in 'Canadian Labour Legislation' started by jase84, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. Hi All

    My wife and I (and our 3 young kids) are looking to move to the Calgary/Airdrie area from the UK around August 2018, we are just starting the process now.

    One question I have though is, I understand you only get 2 weeks holiday entitlement in Canada once you have worked a year for a company, but if you are happy to take the financial impact, are you able to take unpaid leave? I currently get 27 days holiday in the UK, which is great and I except I won't get that in Canada, but could I get that if I was prepare to take the holiday time unpaid?

    2 weeks holiday a years sounds like a very bad work/life balance to me, so do people in Canada take unpaid leave instead to get more time off or is it really all work and no play?

    I wouldn't want to move my family half way across the world for a better life, to find I am actually in work all the time and never see them!


  2. How much vacation you get can sometimes be negotiated.

    Whether you are allowed unpaid leave or not is a conversation you'll need to have with the company you're working for. There's no standard answer.
  3. 2 weeks vacation is the minimum under employment standards. Many companies (especially if you are a white collar employee) have different vacation entitlements. I have 25 business days paid plus my company allows me unpaid time off. Vacation is something you can negotiate if you are a salaried employee.
  4. 2 weeks is the standard to start with but keep in mind that Canada has a long weekend almost every month due to various holidays and you can make good use of those 3 day weekends. After some years with the same employer you are usually entitled to 3 weeks per year and possibly eventually even 4 at some point. It depends on the employer and province.

    Unpaid vacation depends on the employer. Your employer may have certain periods that they are not very busy and would be more than happy to have you take unpaid vacation vs. paying you for sitting around and not doing much.
  5. Thanks for all the responses, its great to know I should be able to get the work/life balance right!

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