A friend of mine has been a loyal employee at a well-known retailer for over six years. She has never had a problem booking her holidays. This year, she received approval to take three separate weeks of holidays between now and Christmas, but her employer | DrumhellerMail
10192020Mon
Last updateSat, 17 Oct 2020 8pm

A friend of mine has been a loyal employee at a well-known retailer for over six years. She has never had a problem booking her holidays. This year, she received approval to take three separate weeks of holidays between now and Christmas, but her employer

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Dear Concerned:

 

First, I would like to clarify that Holidays and Holiday Pay are related to Statutory Holidays. It sounds like your friend is wondering about her Vacation and Vacation Pay.

 

Vacation and vacation-payentitlements are intended to ensure that you have a rest from work without loss of income.

 

Under Alberta’s Employment Standards, an employer can decide when an employee takes their vacation ifa mutually acceptable time for an employee's vacation can not be found.

 

However, most employers try to accommodate their staff whenever possible, because they want to retain their employees.

 

If an employer decides when an employee is taking their vacation, the employer must give the employee at least two weeks written notice of the start of their vacation.

 

Vacations must be given in one unbroken period unless the employee requests to take their vacation in shorter periods. This is permissible so long as those periods are at least one day long.

 

Employees are entitled to two weeks of vacation with pay after one year of employment. After five years of employment, they are entitled to three weeks vacation with pay.

 

Vacations must be taken sometime in the 12 months after the employee becomes entitled to the vacation.

 

If you are unable to take your vacation, your employer can pay you vacation pay in lieu.

 

Employees who are paid by the hour receive vacation pay as a percentage of their wages.

 

"Wages" includes any previously paid vacation pay, but does not include overtime earnings, general holiday pay, pay in lieu of a notice of termination or an unearned bonus.

 

In the first four years of employment, minimum vacation pay is four per cent of earned wages. In the fifth and subsequent years, minimum vacation pay increases to six per cent.

 

Part-time employees

Part-time employees have the same vacation and vacation-pay entitlements as full-time employees. The one important distinction is that their vacation or vacation pay will reflect their reduced hours. For example, part-time employees who only work two days per week are entitled to four paid vacation days after one year of employment.

 

Construction workers

Construction workers are not usually given annual vacation time, but are entitled to vacation pay. All construction employees (full-time and part-time) must be paid vacation pay equal to six per cent of the employee's wages.

 

Other workerswho are exempt from vacations and vacation pay entitlements:

·      employees on a farm or a ranch

·      salespersons working mainly away from the employer's premises who solicit orders for later delivery

·      professionals such as real estate brokers, and licensed insurance and securities salespersons

·      extras in a film or video production

·      employees covered by other Acts (e.g., academic staff)

·      municipal police officers

 

If your friend has any other concerns or questions, she can call theAlberta Employment Standards Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-427-3731 (780‑427‑3731 in Edmonton) or visitwww.employment.alberta.ca/es.

 

Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca. Charles Strachey is a regional manager with Alberta Employment and Immigration. This column is provided for general information.

 


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