Deferring Vacation Entitlement – 2020 is coming to an end – Have you used your vacation days?

Deferring Vacation Entitlement – 2020 is coming to an end – Have you used your vacation days?

2020 is coming to an end – Have you used your vacation daysMost of us know that the Alberta Employment Standards Code provides minimum vacation time and vacation pay. Under the Code, an employee is entitled to a minimum of 2 weeks’ vacation after one year of employment, and minimum of 3 weeks of vacation after five years of employment (Section 34).

One of the most frequent questions asked by employees and employers is – “can you waive or defer your vacation time to next year?”

Under the Code, the parties cannot waive their right to the minimum entitlement, even with an agreement (Section 4). As such, an employer has an obligation to provide an annual vacation to an employee of at least 2 weeks, or 3 weeks, depending on the length of the employee’s employment, and this minimum vacation entitlement cannot be waived or deferred to the following year.

In fact, when an employee does not request a vacation, or when an employer and an employee cannot agree on mutually satisfactory vacation dates, the employer can unilaterally schedule the employee’s vacation time and notify the employee in order to comply with the Code.

However, an employer and an employee may agree to waive or defer “additional” vacation time that is greater than the minimum to the following year. This will be, of course, subject to the employment agreement or vacation policies.

Please contact Osuji & Smith employment lawyers for all your employment law inquiries.

By: Justin (Hyuk Ju) Kwon

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