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You Deserve a Vacation

Posted:  May 8, 2018
Now that the weather is getting nice and the flowers are in bloom I bet you’re thinking you’re thinking you deserve to be sitting on a beautiful white sand beach somewhere with a fruity drink in your hand. It’s also that time of year to make sure that you as the employer or employee have been tracking your accrued time off at work and ensuring the correct vacation pay be allotted. This is a great practice to get into on a regular basis to ensure that companies don’t get stuck paying out large sums to former employees, and to ensure that everyone gets what they deserve. 

Improper tracking can lead to a host of complications for companies and employees when it comes time for that benefit to be claimed. Depending on whether an employee is working part-time or full-time determines not only their vacation payout, but also whether or not they are entitled to take time away from work. Be sure to check with your organization’s policy or practices surrounding vacation to determine their method of accrual and payment. In Canada, there are four ways vacations are commonly paid:
  • Paid each pay period, meaning employees are paid a percentage of vacation pay on each pay cheque.
  • Paid vacation time, meaning employees get paid their regular salary or wages while off work and on vacation.
  • Accrued hours/pay balance, meaning employers accrue vacation based on time owing, rather than as dollars. When the employee then decides to cash in those hours accrued they will be paid at their regular rate. This method does require very accurate records to be kept.
  • Accrued hours/pay balance, meaning, if an employee doesn’t use up all their vacation time the previous year, it may be carried over into the next year, or cashed out in lieu. Again, keeping accurate records of employment will help to keep on top of this.
Employers do have the right to determine when an employee can take their vacation due to the seasonal cycles of business, as certain times of year things may be busier than others. However, the employer must make sure that this time is used by the employee or at least paid out within 10 months in which it was accrued. Any agreements, such as if an employee wishes to wave their vacation time to be paid in lieu are best to get in writing for everyone’s protection.  

If an employer provides a calendar with allotted vacation times from which its employees can select, it is important to advise employees up to six months before to allow for scheduling any payouts. If on the other hand, the employer schedules vacation time for its employees, it is important that the employer give at least two weeks’ notice of when their vacation will begin.

Hopefully this summary will answer a few of your questions so you can begin planning your summer vacation. Always be sure to check with your employer on how they handle vacation payout and accrual in order to ensure smooth sailing and sunny beaches in your future.

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