Leave Policy in Canada

Shraddha Saxena
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Table of Content

Canada offers a rich talent pool and strong employment landscape, ideal for building an international workforce. The country’s employee-centric labor laws ensure a supportive work environment with various leave entitlements, including annual, sick, maternity, and paternity leave, along with public holidays and special leaves for personal responsibilities. These benefits enhance employee well-being and aid employers in retaining and attracting international talent. Hiring employees in Canada or through an Employer of Record (EOR) in Canada provides access to a skilled workforce and a legal framework that prioritizes employee satisfaction and productivity.

Public Holidays

Date Day Holiday
1 Jan 2024 Monday New Year’s Day
19 Feb 2024 Monday Family Day
29 Mar 2024 Friday Good Friday
20 May 2024 Monday Victoria Day
1 Jul 2024 Monday Canada Day
5 Aug 2024 Monday Civic Holiday (Optional, if the employer decides on a day off the employees should be paid)
2 Sep 2024 Monday Labour Day
14 Oct 2024 Monday Thanksgiving
25 Dec 2024 Wednesday Christmas Day
26 Dec 2024 Thursday Boxing Day

Annual Leave (Vacation)

Employees in Ontario are entitled to two consecutive weeks of annual leave after one year of employment and three weeks after five years. Vacation pay is calculated at 4% of the regular salary for the first five years, increasing to 6% thereafter. This ensures employees are compensated fairly while encouraging long-term retention.

Sick Leave

Sick leave entitlements in Canada vary by province, generally remaining unpaid except in specific cases. For instance, British Columbia offers 5 paid sick days, Quebec provides 2, and Prince Edward Island grants 1. Employees in certain federally regulated sectors are entitled to 10 paid sick days. Additionally, several provinces have introduced paid sick leave specifically for individuals affected by COVID-19.

In most provinces, employees are entitled to a certain number of unpaid, legally protected sick days. Some regions mandate a specific number of paid sick days, with the rest being unpaid. Many employers, while not legally required, offer additional paid sick leave and short- or long-term disability benefits. Employees lacking these benefits may qualify for Employment Insurance sick leave benefits.

Moreover, several provinces provide a certain number of unpaid, statutorily protected days for employees to manage family responsibilities. Some of these days must be paid, while the remainder are unpaid. Beyond the statutory sick leave and family responsibility days, employers have an obligation to accommodate employees due to disability or family status. This may necessitate allowing additional unpaid leave beyond the statutory limits.

Maternity Leave

Pregnant employees are entitled to up to 17 weeks of maternity leave, starting up to 17 weeks before the expected delivery date and extending until 18 weeks post-delivery. Employers are not mandated to pay during this leave, but Employment Insurance provides 55% of earnings for up to 15 weeks.

Paternity and Parental Leave

While there are no statutory rules for paternity leave, Canada offers up to 63 weeks of parental leave, which can be shared between parents. This leave can be extended to 71 weeks if shared and must begin within 78 weeks of the child's birth or adoption. Employees can combine maternity and parental leave for a continuous leave period.

Leave for the Disappearance or Death of a Child

Employees in Canada are entitled to up to 104 weeks of leave if their child under 25 years old is missing or deceased. This leave starts from the day of the incident, with proof such as a death certificate or police report required.

Personal Leave

Employees in Canada can take up to five days of personal leave annually for various reasons, including urgent family matters or attending citizenship ceremonies. After three months of continuous employment, the first three days of personal leave are paid.

Domestic Violence Leave

Victims of domestic violence or those whose children are victims are entitled to 10 days of paid leave. This leave supports activities like relocating, seeking medical or legal help, and receiving counseling.

Jury Duty Leave

Canadian law ensures employees can fulfill their civic duties without fear of losing their job. Employers must grant leave for jury duty, and employees should provide notice and supporting documents.

Traditional Aboriginal Practices Leave

Aboriginal employees are entitled to five days of unpaid leave annually to engage in traditional practices such as fishing, hunting, or farming. This leave is available after three months of continuous employment.

Bereavement Leave

Employees in Canada can take up to 10 days of bereavement leave following the death of a close relative. The first three days are paid if the employee has been with the company for at least three months.

Other Leave Types

Canada in employee also provides compassionate care leave, family responsibility leave, and medical leave for critical illness, among others. Employers must comply with these regulations to ensure a supportive work environment.

Hassle-Free Leave Policy Management in Canada with Gloroots

Gloroots simplifies the process of hiring contractors or full-time employees in over 160 countries, eliminating the hassle of setting up a local legal entity. We provide a unified platform for quick onboarding and secure administration of benefits. With Gloroots, you can confidently handle payroll and comply with complex employment laws, allowing us to manage all HR complexities for you.

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