Vacation Entitlement & Pay

The Employment Standards Act of B.C. provides that employees are entitled to take time off for annual vacation and to be paid vacation pay. The Act does not permit an employee to forego an annual vacation and only receive the vacation pay.

Annual Vacation
• All employees earn vacation pay on all wages earned from the first day of employment.

• After completing 12 months of employment, an employee has earned two weeks of annual vacation to be taken in the following year.

• After completing FIVE years of employment, an employee becomes entitled to three weeks of annual vacation.

• An employee is entitled to take his or her annual vacation within twelve months after it is earned.

• An employee may make a written request for an annual vacation before becoming entitled to one. If the employer agrees, this vacation time taken “in advance” reduces the amount of vacation time remaining when the employee becomes entitled to a vacation.

• An employer has the right to schedule vacations according to business requirements as long as the employer ensures that an employee receives a vacation within twelve months after becoming entitled to it.

Vacation Pay
• When an employee takes an annual vacation earned in the previous year of employment, the employer must pay vacation pay of at least four per cent of all wages paid to the employee in that previous year.

• Any vacation pay received by an employee becomes part of the total wages paid in that year.

• Vacation pay is payable at least seven days before the start of the annual vacation.

• If agreed to in writing by the employer and the employee, vacation pay may be paid on every cheque.

• After the employee completes five years of employment, the employer must pay vacation pay of at least six per cent of all wages earned in the previous year.

• Upon termination of employment, an employee must be paid all outstanding vacation pay with the final pay cheque.

• The employer’s payroll records must indicate the dates of the annual vacation taken by the employee, the amounts paid by the employer and the days and amounts owing.

• The amount of vacation pay paid must be indicated on the employee’s pay statement.