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How much vacation time do I get?
Ontario's Employment Standards Act gives most people the right to 2 or 3 weeks of vacation in a year. They earn their vacation by working 12 months for the same employer.
If they’ve worked less than 5 years for the employer, they get 2 weeks of vacation in a year.
If they’ve worked 5 years or more for the employer, they get 3 weeks of vacation in a year.
Some workers may get more vacation time, based on what their employer agrees to give them or what's in their collective agreement.
Earning your vacation
The period of 12 months in which you earn your vacation is called your "entitlement year". Your employer decides when this year begins. It could begin:
- when you start working for your employer
- on a different date, for example, January 1, if your employer uses the calendar year as the entitlement year
If the entitlement year starts on a date that's different than the date you started working, you still earn vacation from your first day of work to the day before the entitlement year begins.
Taking your vacation
Your employer has the right to decide:
- when you can take your vacation
- whether you can take all of your vacation at the same time
The law says that if you get at least 2 weeks of vacation, your employer decides whether you can take all your vacation weeks in a row.
The law also says that if your employer asks you to take your vacation in periods that are less than one week at a time, you don't have to do this. But if this is something you want to do, ask your employer in writing and get your employer to agree in writing.
Your employer must let you take your vacation within 10 months of when you earn it.
The amount of vacation pay that the Employment Standards Act says you get depends on how long you've worked for you employer.
If you've worked less than 5 years, your vacation pay must be at least 4% of the wages, not including vacation pay, that you earn during your entitlement year.
If you've worked 5 years or more, your vacation pay must be at least 6% of the wages, not including vacation pay, that you earn during your entitlement year.
If your entitlement year starts on a different date than the date you started working, you also get vacation pay from your first day of work to the day before the entitlement year begins.
The general rule is that your employer has to pay you your vacation pay before your vacation starts.
If you already got your vacation pay, you get the time off without pay.