Advance polling for Canada’s federal election commences today, ahead of election day on Monday, October 21, 2019 (7:00 am to 7:00 pm in BC).
Employers should keep in mind their obligations under the Canada Elections Act, specifically:
Time off to vote
- Every employee who is an elector is entitled, during voting hours on polling day, to have three consecutive hours for the purpose of casting their vote and, if their hours of work do not allow for those three consecutive hours, their employer shall allow the time for voting that is necessary to provide those three consecutive hours.
- The time that the employer shall allow for voting, as above, is at the convenience of the employer.
No deductions from pay or interference
- No employer may make a deduction from the pay of an employee, or impose a penalty, for the time that the employer shall allow for voting as above.
- An employer who pays an employee less than the amount that the employee would have earned on polling day, had the employee continued to work during the time referred to above that the employer allowed for voting, is deemed to have made a deduction from the pay of the employee, regardless of the basis on which the employee is paid.
- No employer shall, by intimidation, undue influence or by any other means, interfere with the granting to an elector in their employ of the three consecutive hours for voting, as provided for above.
- These provisions do not apply to an employee of a company that transports goods or passengers by land, air or water who is employed outside his or her polling division in the operation of a means of transportation, if the additional time referred to above cannot be allowed without interfering with the transportation service.
Whether it is a federal or provincial election, all jurisdictions in Canada require employers to give employees, scheduled on election day, time off to vote without a deduction in pay. Please see the links below for summaries of employer obligations for federal and provincial elections:
This article provides only general information about legal issues and developments, and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Please see our disclaimer for more details.