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Many employees have been using the Infectious Disease Emergency Leave for almost one year.

By now, those employees should have received their accrued but unused vacation pay (4% or 6% of gross wages earned during a 12-month vacation entitlement year) for the previous “vacation entitlement year”. Your “vacation entitlement year” is typically the recurring 12-month period that begins on the first day of your employment. Under the Employment Standards Act (“ESA”), everyone is entitled to two full weeks of vacation time/pay (3 weeks if you are employed over 5 years) which must be paid out at the end of a vacation entitlement year.

By now, employees using IDEL should have received their accrued but unused vacation pay.

Contracts that Provide for More Vacation

If you are entitled to more than two weeks’ vacation under your contract, double check whether your vacation entitlement is tied to accrued/active service. Typically, vacation pay is an accrued entitlement, meaning that you have to be actively working to build-up the vacation time owed to you.. Unfortunately, you do not accrue vacation time if you are on a leave, as you are not considered being actively employed while you are on leave.

However, at the end of the vacation entitlement year, the employer must ensure that you receive:

  1. the greater of what was either earned under the contract; or,
  2. the minimum vacation pay you would have earned under the ESA.

Your employer is required to keep records of the vacation time earned but not taken since your date of hire. You can request, in writing, a statement containing your vacation records.

You also have the right to defer taking your vacation entitlement until the leave of absence expires but you must request this from your employer.

If you have any questions about your vacation accrual and payment of same, contact one of our employment lawyers for a consultation.


This content is not intended to provide legal advice or opinion as neither can be given without reference to specific events and situations. © 2021 Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP.

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