Keep Track of Employee Vacation

It is important for Employers to understand how the Ministry of Labour (MOL) regards the tracking of vacation pay and granting vacation time off for Part Time employees.

There is sometimes a misconception that since Part time employees don’t work every day, that they do not get or need vacation time off the same way full time staff do. This is not true!

Vacation Time must be granted to part time staff in the same manner as the full time staff.  Make a record on the work schedule that the employee is on vacation, and keep a copy of the schedule in the employee’s file.  It is best to use a vacation request form to document that the employee has requested and been given vacation time off, which should correspond to their normal posted work schedule.

Days that they would have worked are marked and paid as Vacation. Days the Employee would normally be off could be handled in two ways:

-If the Employee is available for work that week (i.e. could cover a shift if there was a sick call) the regular days off would be unpaid, as they are “regular days off”.

-If the Employee is not available, (i.e. is out of town on holiday) then the Employer should treat the entire week as Vacation Time and pay accordingly.

There are circumstances where Employees may be given their vacation pay at a different time than the vacation time off is granted. This could be in response to a sudden financial need of the Employee (i.e. car trouble).  Employers are free to pay out accrued vacation pay in these circumstances, but must have a signed agreement with the Employee indicating that the Employee is aware that their vacation time off may be partially or wholly unpaid depending upon how much vacation pay has accrued since the payout.

If your employee just wants their vacation pay but does not want to take vacation time at all, the Employer must get a signed agreement between the Employer and Employee, and actual written approval from the Ministry of Labour before this will be acceptable (this is stated in Section 41 of the Employment Standards Act).

If your employees want to have their vacation pay given to them on every paycheque, you must get a signed agreement from each employee, otherwise the MoL considers this money a gift to the employee, even if recorded as vacation pay on the paystub.  “Blanket” agreements (such as a statement in the Policy Handbook) are not acceptable.

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