Vacations and Vacation Pay

Except for employees who work in specified industries and professions, most employees are entitled to vacations and vacation pay. The requirement for vacations and vacation pay entitlement is intended to ensure that employees have rest from work without loss of income each year.

The basic entitlement to annual vacations is as follows:

  • Two weeks after each of the first four years of employment with pay, and
  • Three weeks after five consecutive years of employment with pay.

If an employee receives a monthly salary, each week of vacation pay is arrived at by dividing their monthly pay by 4 1/3. In the case of employees who are paid other than monthly and who are entitled to two or three weeks vacation pay based on their length of service, they receive four per cent or six per cent of the wages that they have earned respectively.

Because of the nature of employment in the construction industry, there is no requirement for construction employers to provide their employees with vacation time. However, they are entitled to vacation pay in an amount that is at least six per cent of the employee’s wages.

Vacations must be taken sometime in the 12 months after the employee becomes entitled to the vacation. Vacations must be given in one unbroken period unless the employee requests to take their vacations in shorter periods. This is permissible as long as those periods are at least one day long.

If a mutually acceptable time for the employee’s vacation cannot be found, the employer can decide on the time. However, the employee must receive at least two weeks notice in writing of the start date of their vacation. The employee must take their vacation at that time.

To learn more, see the following fact sheets:

Created: 2001-11-22
Modified: 2011-03-21
PID: 1471

Contact Employment Standards

Call the Employment Standards Contact Centre for general information or submit an inquiry online:

  • 780‑427‑3731 (Edmonton area)
  • 1‑877‑427‑3731 (Toll-free)

More contact options