Canada: Jurisdictional Summary- Prince Edward Island

Last Updated: December 19 2014
Practice Guide by Blaney McMurtry LLP

All references are to the Employment Standards Act RSPEI 1988, c E-6.2, unless noted otherwise.

HOURS OF WORK Standard hours of work that can be required of employees per week is 48 hours (15(1))

Employment Standards Board may order otherwise, taking into account the nature of the work, the effect on employees' health, work requirements and the duration of the work schedule (15(2-3))
EATING PERIODS Employees shall be provided an unpaid rest or eating period of at least one-half hour intervals, such that they do not work longer than 5 consecutive hours without an unpaid period of rest or eating (16(2))
REST PERIODS Employees are entitled to unpaid rest of at least 24 consecutive hours in every period of 7 days and, where possible, this period shall be on Sunday (16(1))
OVERTIME Employees shall be paid 1.5 times their regular rate for each overtime hour performed each week (15.1(1))

In lieu of overtime, employers may give employees 90 minutes of paid time off for each overtime hour worked if requested by the employee in writing and taken within 3 months of the work week in which the hours were earned (15.1(2))
MINIMUM WAGE Set by the Employment Standards Board (5(1))

Current minimum wage for all employees is $10.00 hourly (MWO 1)1
MINIMUM AGE2 No employer shall employ a person under the age of 16 in employment that is likely to be harmful to the child's health or safety or moral or physical development (4) or whatsoever in construction (5) or between the hours of 11pm and 7am, during normal school hours except for vocational training, for more than 3 hours on any school day or 8 hours on any other day or for over 40 hours in a week (6)
VACATION If the employee has worked for an employer for a continuous 12-month period, the employer shall, not later than four months after this period, give the employee an unbroken vacation of at least 2 weeks if the employer has less than 8 years continuous employment with the employer or 3 weeks otherwise paid at an amount at least equal to 4% of their wages for the 12-month period if under 8 years of continuous employment or at least 6% otherwise (11(1))

Employees can waive vacation with pay entitlement in return for vacation pay if the employer has 12 months continuous employment and works less than 90% of normal working hours during this period (11.1(1))
HOLIDAY All employers shall grant every employee a holiday with pay (6(2))

Paid holidays include New Year's Day, Islander Day, Good Friday, Canada Day, Labour Day, Remembrance Day, Christmas Day and any day prescribed as a paid holiday in the regulations (6(1))

Holiday pay does not apply to employees (a) with less than 30 days of employment prior to the paid holiday; (b) that have not received pay for at least 15 of the 30 calendar days immediately preceding the paid holiday; (c) that fail, without reasonable cause, to work on both the employee's last scheduled work day before the paid holiday and the employee's first scheduled work day after the paid holiday; (d) that have agreed to work on the paid holiday and have, without reasonable cause, failed to report for and perform work on the paid holiday; or (e) that are employed under a contract of service under which the employees may elect to work or not when requested to do so (7(1))
EQUAL PAY No employer shall discriminate between employees with respect to payment for substantially the same work, the performance of which requires equal education, skill, experience, effort and responsibility in similar conditions, save for seniority, merit or performance systems (PEI Human Rights Code 7(1))3
LEAVES OF ABSENCE No employer shall dismiss, lay off or suspend an employee by reason that they (a) are pregnant; (b) are temporarily disabled because of pregnancy; (c) have applied for maternity leave; or (d) have applied for parental or adoption leave (18)

MATERNITY - Requires being employed for at least 20 of the 52 preceding weeks from the commencement date of the leave and providing a certificate from a medical practitioner stating that the employee is pregnant and an estimated delivery date (19). Maternity leave is 17 weeks unpaid and may be commenced at any time during the period of 11 weeks immediately preceding the estimated date of birth (20)

PARENTAL - Requires being employed for at least 20 weeks of the 52 preceding weeks from the commencement date of the leave, and having become a natural or custodial parent for the purpose of adopting of a child, submits an application at least 4 weeks before the expected commencement date (22). Aggregate amount by one or two employees shall not exceed 52 weeks and this leave is unpaid (22(2.1)).

FAMILY - If employed continuously for at least 6 months, employees are entitled to up to 3 days unpaid at the employee's request during a 12 calendar-month period for personal health purposes or for the health care of a family member (22.1(1))

SICK - If the employee has been continuously employed for at least 6 months, employee's may request sick leave for up to 3 days unpaid during a 12 calendar-month period (22.2(1)). Employers may request a medical certificate attesting to the illness (22.2(2))

COMPASSIONATE CARE - Unpaid up to 8 weeks for the purpose of providing care and support to a family member after providing a medical certificate evincing that the family member has a serious medical condition with a significant risk of death within 26 weeks (22.3(2)). Must be taken in periods of not less than 1 week in duration (22.3(5))

BEREAVEMENT - On the death of a family member, 1 day paid and up to 2 consecutive days unpaid if the deceased was an immediate family member or up to 3 consecutive days of unpaid leave if the deceased was an extended family member (23(1))

RESERVIST - Those in the Reserves and who have been employed by the same employer for at least 6 consecutive months and are required for service are entitled unpaid leave for the period of leave necessary to accommodate the period required (23.1)

COURT - Employees are entitled to unpaid leave for any period as a result of jury duty or having to attend an action as a witness (23.2)
TERMINATION/SEVERANCE Unless with just cause, employers must give employees with at least 6 months' continuous employment, 2 weeks' notice in writing if the employee has been employed for over 6 months but under 5 years, 4 weeks if between 5 and 10 years, 6 weeks if between 10 and 15 years, and 8 weeks otherwise (29(1))

Where an employee is discharged, the employer shall pay the employee the wages earned during the period of notice or a sum equivalent to the employee's wages for the number of weeks prescribed in the statute exclusive of overtime (whichever is greater) (29(3))


1. Minimum Wage Order, PEI Reg EC139/96

2. Youth Employment Act, RSPEI 1988, c Y-2

3. Human Rights Act, RSPEI 1988, c H-12

This document is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. You should not act or rely on any information in this document without first seeking legal advice. This material is intended for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have any specific questions on any legal matter, you should consult a professional legal services provider.

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