With a Federal Election just around the corner, now is a good time to start thinking about your obligations as an employer to provide your employees with time off work to vote.
In accordance with the Canada Elections Act, Canadian citizens who are 18 years of age or older and registered to vote are entitled to three consecutive hours off work during the time that their polling stations are open.
If an employee’s work schedule does not facilitate this requirement, an employer must grant them time off work to vote. Any time off work given to an employee for the purpose of voting must be paid. Some limited exceptions apply to the transportation industry.
For example, if an employee’s polling station is open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and they are scheduled to work from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., in order to have three consecutive hours off work to vote, the employer would be required to let the employee arrive at work at 11:00 a.m. or leave work at 5:00 p.m. The employer would not be permitted to deduct any wages from an employee’s pay for taking this time off work to vote.
Employers who reduce pay or fail to satisfy the voting time requirements may be liable for a fine of up to $2,000, and/or imprisonment for up to three months, for each violation of the Canada Elections Act.
For more information related to voting hours, please visit:
If you have any questions about how the federal election voting requirements apply to your workplace, please contact an e2r™ Advisor.