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Employee Vacation Entitlement in British Columbia

As businesses grow and transform, it is often helpful to review and understand employee entitlements and protections in British Columbia. The topic of employee vacation entitlements is a common inquiry from employers, no matter the size of the organization.

Annual Vacation Entitlement
Under the Employment Standards Act, eligible employees have the right to two weeks of annual vacation. An employee only becomes entitled to vacation time after 12 months of employment. For employees who reach five years of service with the same employer, their entitlement increases to three weeks of annual vacation.

Employers may choose to provide annual vacation within the first 12 months of employment, which is what many companies do in order to increase employee retention.

Vacation Pay
After five calendar days of employment, employees begin to accumulate vacation pay. When the employee takes their annual vacation earned from the previous year, the employee must provide vacation pay.

Generally no vacation pay is owed when the employee takes vacation in the same year the vacation entitlement is accrued.

Vacation Roll Over
If employees do not use all their vacation days, the employer should either pay the vacation days out at the end of the year or allow employees to carry over the vacation to the following year, subject to the employer’s vacation policy.

If in doubt about employee entitlements and protections in BC, feel free to reach out for a free consultation.


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