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Vacation entitlement in Canada

sleeke

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Jul 5, 2012
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Hi,

I've been reading on some Canadian government websites that the standard entitlement to holiday in Canada is two weeks, and this is only earned after working for a year:

"During the first year of employment, an employee earns vacation time to be taken in the second year of employment. After completing twelve months of employment, an employee has earned two weeks of annual vacation to be taken in the following year."

Is this situation to be found in all jobs, or is it a minimum limit for employers to follow? I am coming to Vancouver to work as a computer programmer, and this seems much less than the 21 days I currently enjoy in the UK...

Also, does the "2 weeks" mean 2 working weeks (10 working days) or 2 full weeks (14 working days)?

Thanks for your help,

Selwyn
 

scylla

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Jun 8, 2010
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It's a minimum limit.

Two weeks = 10 days.
 

missmymexi

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I live in Vancouver and yes two weeks is standard and also a good package, some receive more with the number of years worked at the company, for instance in my company each two years worked earns an addition 2 days of vacation up to a maximum of 18 days. Most companies will do vacation on a pro-rata base. So you will earn a certain percentage of vacation and entitlement with each month, earning your total 10 days by year end, however most will allow you to take it the same year and not wait till the following year, however any days that are taken and not yet earned would have to be paid back to the employer if you do not fufill your year commitment. Most companies have a 3 month probabtionary period and you are not eligible for holiday days till the probation is over, usually benefits coincide with the probabtionary period as well and do not become effective till the 3 months are complete. I am also an HR manager so if you have any more questions about employment regulations in Vancouver, feel free to ask :)

Also, just a side note, Canada does have less vacation time than the UK and also far less statutory holidays (19 per calendar year compared to 36 in the UK), so be ready for more work and less vacation, however you may find that the working days are a tad shorter, depending on occupation.
 

Leon

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Jun 13, 2008
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That's right. Canada does have less vacation time than Europe. The 2 weeks time is standard. In Alberta, you become entitled to your 2 weeks vacation after working for 12 months and you must take it within the next 12 month period. After 5 years of work, you become entitled to 3 weeks. The law in BC seems the same, see http://www.labour.gov.bc.ca/esb/igm/esa-part-7/igm-esa-s-57.htm

A company can however give you more if they want to. One former employer gave 3 weeks already after 3 years of work and I believe 4 weeks after 7 years of work.

The employer can not expect you to take your vacation in segments of less than 1 week. It is possible that you can get unpaid vacation on top of your paid vacation, especially if your employer is slow. There are also a lot of long weekends in Canada. Here: http://www.labour.gov.bc.ca/esb/facshts/stats.htm you can see the stat holidays in BC.
 

UKMan2007

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May 10, 2014
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Hi,

This may have been asked before.

I have Canadian PR but have not yet made the move to Canada. I am planning to do this in the next few months. I am wondering that is it possible to negotiate holiday/vacation with employers prior to accepting a position?

For example, in Ontario, I know the minimum is two weeks paid vacation.

Would it be possible to negotiate a further 2-3 weeks paid or unpaid vacation per year for things like visiting family in the UK etc.

I have read that it is possible but specifically I am wondering also if anyone has heard of this being done? Also if this is proposed, is it frowned upon or is it considered ok to ask for this?

Thanks loads.
 

Leon

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Of course you can ask for flexibility or a different contract than other employees according to your needs. If you are working in a field that has slow times, the employer may welcome giving you more time off if it's unpaid. If you want it paid, they will calculate and offer you a lower salary in return so it comes out the same. Or if they don't like the idea at all, they can say no and you know where you stand.

It may however be frowned upon by other employees that you have a special deal.