Who Decides When You Take Vacation?

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It’s time for summer vacation! Does your employer decide when you get to go? Can you split your vacation time? Can you bank vacation time? Here are the answers. 

What dates? 

Your employer can decide when you take your vacation. However, they must tell you at least 4 weeks ahead of time.  

You’re entitled to one continuous vacation.  

However, you can ask to have your vacation split if you have more than 1 week of vacation per year. 

Your employer can refuse to split your vacation if their business closes for a part of the year (for example, the construction holidays). In that case, they can force you to take your vacation during that time.  

If you have more vacation than the time that the business is closed, you can ask to have your remaining time split. 

Banking vacation time? 

Generally, you can’t bank vacation time over multiple years. 

The law says that you must take your vacation time within 12 months of the end of the reference year (for example, your 2020 vacation time must used by the end of 2021). However, there are some exceptions for people who had to miss work because of: 

  • sickness or accident 
  • family or parental reasons 
  • being the victim of crime 
  • being a member of the Canadian Army Reserves.  

In these cases, you can ask your employer to bank your vacation time until the following year. If they refuse, they must give you financial compensation (usually in cash).