Annual Vacation and Vacation Pay 


As an employer regulated by British Columbia’s Employment Standards Act (ESA), you are required to provide employees with annual vacation and vacation payProviding employees with time to rest results in greater job satisfaction, a better work-life balance and creates a focused and more productive workforce. Here’s what you should know about your employees’ entitlements. 

Annual Vacation Entitlement 

Under the ESA, eligible employees have the right to two weeks of annual vacationAn employee only becomes entitled to vacation time after 12 months of employment. For employees who reach five years of service with the same employer, their entitlement increases to three weeks of annual vacation 

Employers can choose to provide annual vacation within the first 12 months of employment. 

Annual vacation is not the same as statutory holidays 

Vacation Pay 

After five calendar days of employment, employees begin to accumulate vacation pay. When your employee takes their annual vacation earned from the previous year, you must provide vacation pay. This is calculated as follows: 

Minimum Standard  1-5 years of employment  More than 5 years of employment 
Vacation Time  2 weeks of vacation time after 12 months of employment  3 weeks of vacation time 
Vacation Pay  4% of wages from the previous year  6% of wages from the previous year 


It is your employer responsibility to maintain your payroll records. Each pay stub must indicate the dates of annual vacation taken by your employee, the amounts paid, and the days and amounts owing. 

Have questions about vacation pay? 

Ask Employer Line how to calculate vacation pay, or how to put together a vacation policy that’s right for your small business. Call us to have your questions answered right away by our team of HR experts – 1(833) 200-5103.