Vacation: Demystifying Your Obligations Under Law

This month in our Wednesday Webinar we talked about the differences between vacation time off and vacation pay as we’ve encountered many client who are confused that these are actually two very distinct, separate topics under the Nova Scotia Labour Standards Code. As summer is now upon us we thought it was timely to talk a bit about these two topics as they apply to your business. So what’s the difference, what is the minimum you have to give employees, and what recommendations can we give you to think about?

In laymen’s terms, employees with less than 8 years’ service are entitled to 2 weeks’ vacation time-off.  Their vacation pay, however, is a variable.  Employees with less than 8 years’ service are entitled to 4% vacation pay based on all wages earned during the year.

Concomitantly, employees with more than 8 years’ service are entitled to 3 weeks’ vacation time off.  And, their vacation pay is 6% of all wages earned during the year. Essentially vacation time off is a function of how many years the employee has been with you, and vacation pay is a function of how many hours the employee has worked up to that point in the previous year.

Employers may pay employees their vacation pay on each cheque or at least one day before the employees’ vacation begins.

What about part-time, casual or seasonal employees? How does maternity/paternity leave factor in? What if any employee is terminated or quits with unused vacation time? When does it have to be paid out and can you hold any back if they owe you money? For items like these, along with our recommendations, feel free to view our webinar Vacation: Demystifying Your Obligations Under Law by clicking the link here.

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