Vacation Leave, Vacation Pay : NS Labour and Advanced Education, Employment Rights

Vacation Time and Vacation Pay FAQ


How much vacation time are employees entitled to?

Employees are entitled to two weeks vacation after working 12 months for an employer. If an employee has worked for the same employer for more than eight years, the employee is entitled to at least three weeks vacation.

Vacation is earned over a period of 12 continuous months. The employer has ten months after vacation is earned to provide it to the employee.


Who decides when the employee will take his/her vacation?

The employer decides when an employee will take vacation. The employer must notify the employee at least 1 week in advance of the date the employee's vacation will begin.


How much vacation pay are employees entitled to?

Employers must pay employees vacation pay in the amount of 4% of their gross wages. For those employees who have completed 7 years with their employer, employers must pay them vacation pay in the amount of 6% of their gross wages.


When should employees receive their vacation pay?

Employers must pay employees their vacation pay at least one day before the employee's vacation begins.


Can an employer pay vacation pay on a weekly or bi-weekly basis?

Yes. However, where an employer wishes to pay on this basis, it must be clearly communicated to the employee and records need to be retained to substantiate this. The vacation pay should also be identified on the pay stub.


Does vacation pay and vacation leave entitlement apply to only full time workers?

No, vacation pay and vacation leave entitlement apply to full time, part time, casual and seasonal workers.


Does an employee have to take vacation leave?

If an employee works less than 90% of the regular working hours during a continuous twelve month period, the employee can waive, in writing, his/her vacation leave entitlement. Full time employees must take vacation leave.

Where an employee waives his/her vacation entitlement, the employer must pay the employee's vacation pay no later than one month after the 12 month period in which vacation was earned ends.


What if an employee receives three weeks vacation, or more, under company policy even though the employee has not worked with the employer for 8 years?

If the benefits in place are more favorable than what the Code provides, the employee will be entitled to those benefits.


What happens with respect to vacation leave entitlement and vacation pay if the employment relationship ends before the employee has taken all vacation leave earned.

The employer must ensure the employee receives all vacation pay earned within 10 days after the employment relationship ends.