Can Employees “Lose” or “Forfeit” Unused Vacation?

Vacation is not a “use it or lose it” benefit. Like wages, it is a protected benefit under the Employment Standards Act (ESA). The ESA has separate provisions for Vacation Time and Vacation Pay, but neither one can be taken away from an employee once it is earned The only way an employee “loses” vacation TIME is if they quit/resign/are fired from a job and have not used the TIME they have earned. Vacation PAY is earned on all wages including commissions, overtime and public holiday pay.  This calculation may result in an employee earning more vacation PAY than is Continue Reading »

Are Workers Paid for “Snow Days”?

The 2019 Winter Season has seen a record number of “snow days” which resulted in people not being able to go to work. Are workers eligible to be paid for these “snow days”? Under the Employment Standards Act (ESA), if there are “circumstances beyond the employer’s control” including stormy weather, the employer does not have to pay for cancelled shifts even if the worker showed up for work and was sent home. If the worker’s shift is not cancelled and they are required to show up for work, they could use a Personal Emergency Leave day, particularly if their children Continue Reading »

Do Part Time Workers Get Less Vacation Time or Pay?

The short answer is, no. Whether you are employed “full time” or “part time”, under the Vacation With Pay provision of the Employment Standards Act, there is no difference in the amount of vacation time or pay that an employee is entitled to. All employees are entitled to vacation pay of 4% or 6% of their “earned wages” (depending on length of service) which includes overtime and public holiday pay. If you work overtime, you could earn more than the 10 or 15 days of pay needed for your vacation entitlement. In this case, the employer is required to pay Continue Reading »

Is Attendance Management Confusing You?

Thank you to my reader who asked questions regarding the confusing world of Attendance Management programs.  These programs are tricky to navigate because of Human Rights concerns so employers need to use caution when using discipline for absences. 1. Mandated Leaves of Absence – If your workers use the Leave provisions from the Employment Standards Act, these absences cannot be subject to disciplinary action.  There is a limited exception with regard to Personal Emergency Leave in that the absent employee must be able to provide “proof that is reasonable in the circumstances” to show entitlement to the leave.  Failure to Continue Reading »

What Does “Protected Leave” Mean?

Under the Employment Standards Act (ESA) and/or the Human Rights Code, employees are entitled to “protected” leaves of absences. Some examples are Personal Emergency Leave days, Maternity/Parental leave and Compassionate Leaves. “Protected” leave simply means that if an employee exercises their right to take one of these leaves, their right to return to their current job and wage are protected under law. This simply means that if an employee is off, the employer can’t make significant detrimental changes to the job or wage that the employee had when they went off work. Are there “unprotected leaves”? Yes! For example, in Continue Reading »