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How many weeks of vacation am I entitled to?

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Labor and employment law

The period for vacations is now over and you may be wondering how many weeks of vacation you are entitled to next year. The vacation weeks due to an employee may be included in a decree, a collective agreement, if you are unionized, or an employment contract. To make sure that your rights are minimally respected, please read what follows.

Entitlement to Vacation According to the Labour Standards Act

The Labour Standards Act contains provisions concerning vacations that protect the majority of Quebec workers, whether they work full time or part time. Entitlement to a vacation is acquired during a period of 12 consecutive months. Known as the reference year, this period extends from May 1st to April 30th, except if the employer, a decree or an agreement provides other dates.

The length of vacation is established by the employee’s period of uninterrupted services. Thus, an employee, who has less than a year of service, will be entitled to one day per full month without exceeding 2 weeks and the vacation pay will be 4% of the wages earned during the reference year. An employee who has from 1 year up to 5 years of uninterrupted service is entitled to 2 consecutive weeks and the vacation pay will be 4%. The employee who has 5 years and over of uninterrupted service is entitled to 3 consecutive weeks and vacation pay will be 6%.

Take note that an employee can request the division of his vacation weeks when he is entitled to more than a week of vacation, subject to certain exceptions provided by the Labour Standards Act.

If you are entitled to 2 weeks’ vacation, can you ask for an additional week without pay? The answer is yes and the employer cannot refuse. However, an employee cannot request to take this additional leave immediately following his 2-week vacation. The additional week cannot be divided.

Me Nadia Pola, lawyer
ALEPIN GAUTHIER AVOCATS INC.

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