Vacation Pay and Entitlement

As an employer regulated by Alberta’s Employment Standards Code, you are responsible for ensuring your employees receive time off and vacation pay. This is important for both employee well-being and the success of your business.

On January 1, 2018, updates to Alberta’s Employment Standards Code under the Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act came into effect. This includes new standards for vacation and vacation pay.

Vacation Entitlement

An employee is entitled to at least two (2) weeks of vacation with pay after working with the same employer for one year, and three (3) weeks of vacation with pay after working with the same employer for five years. This entitlement applies to all employees, regardless of employment status (i.e. full-time, part-time, or casual). While employers are not required to provide vacation time to employees with less than one year of service, they may choose to do so.

Vacation entitlement is based on an employee’s length of service. This also determines how to calculate vacation pay, starting on an employee’s date of hire.

Vacation Pay

Vacation pay entitlement is calculated as follows:

Minimum Standard Less than 1 year of employment 1-5 years of employment More than 5 years of employment
Vacation Time Not entitled unless stated in contract Two (2) weeks of vacation time after each 12-month vacation entitlement year Three (3) weeks of vacation time
Vacation Pay 4% of yearly wages 4% of yearly wages 6% of yearly wages

As an employer, you must provide at least the minimum standards set out in the Employment Standards Code. While you may choose to offer greater rights and benefits to staff, you cannot provide less than the minimum standards listed above.

Questions about vacation pay?

Ask Employer Line how to calculate vacation pay or put together a proper vacation policy. Our HR experts are here to support your business. Call us to have your questions answered right away: 1 (888) 219-8767.