Canada: Jurisdictional Summary – Yukon

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

All references are to the Employment Standards Act, RSY 2002, c 72, unless noted otherwise.

HOURS OF WORK Working hours of an employee shall not exceed eight hours in a day and 40 hours in a week 6
EATING PERIODS One-half hour eating period every five hours where an employee works for 10 hours or less 13(1)(a), or, if working more than 10 hours, an eating period every 6 hours 13(1)(b)

Period to be counted as worked if employee is required to work during those periods 13(2)
REST PERIODS Hours of work shall, wherever practicable, be scheduled and worked so that each employee has at least two full days of rest in a week, and, wherever practicable, Sunday shall be one of the normal days of rest in a week 12(1)

Exception where employee may be requested to work for up to 28 continuous days without a rest day where additional work is necessary in order to complete the project on which the employee was employed during those 28 days 12(2); in such a case an employee is entitled to at least one day of rest for each 7 continuous days of work, and to take the accrued days of rest continuously with each other 12(3)

At least 8 consecutive hours free from work between each shift worked, except in case of emergency 14(1)

Above requirement may be amended in case of unreasonable hardship imposed on the employer 14(2)
OVERTIME Employer shall pay employee 1 ½ times regular wages for all hours worked in excess of (a) 8 in a day, or (b) 40 in a week, excluding hours worked in excess of eight in a day 8(1)

Employee shall make reasonable efforts to give employee notice of their requirement to work overtime 8(3)

Employee may refuse to work overtime for just cause, but must state the refusal and the cause for the refusal in writing to the employer 8(5)

May be amended in case of collective agreement 9, or excepted in special cases as determined by the director 10
MINIMUM WAGE Employer must pay employee a rate that is at least equal to the minimum wage, and not less than the equivalent of that rate for the time worked by the employee 17

Minimum hourly wage was fixed at $10.30 per hour effective May 1, 2012, and has been increased according to inflation since April 1, 2013, according to the Consumer Price Index for Whitehorse O.I.C. 2012/46, Sched., s. 1 ($10.72 per hour as of May 23, 2014)
VACATION Every employee is entitled to and shall be granted a vacation with pay of at least two weeks in respect of every completed year of employment 21(1)

Vacation may not be taken more than 10 months after completion of employment year for which it was granted 22(a)

Vacation requirement may be altered by written agreement between employer and employee, but the employer must pay the employee vacation pay in addition to any other amount due for the time entitled for a vacation 23(3)
HOLIDAYS Every employer shall give to each of their employees a holiday with pay in respect of every general holiday falling within a period of their employment 29(1)

If the holiday falls on a non-working day for the employee, the employee shall be granted a holiday with pay on the working day immediately following the general holiday 29(2)

If an employee is required to work on a day that is a holiday, the employee shall be paid at the applicable overtime rate for the hours worked, and be paid at the regular rate for the hours worked on that day, and be given a day off which may be added to the employee's annual vacation or granted as a day off at a time convenient to the employer or employee 31(a)(b)
MINIMUM WORKING AGE No general minimum working age. However, there are limitations on youth employment for certain occupations or workplaces.
EQUAL PAY No employer shall discriminate between male and female employees by paying a female employee at a rate of pay less than the rate of pay paid to a male employee, or vice versa, employed by the employer for similar work performed in the same establishment under similar working conditions and the performance of which requires similar skill, effort and responsibility, except when due to (a) a seniority system, (b) a merit system, (c) a system that measures earnings by quality or quantity of production; or (d) a differential based on any factor other than sex 44
LEAVES OF ABSENCE MATERNITY – up to 17 consecutive weeks, without pay, when the employee has worked for at least 12 continuous months 36(1)

An employer may require an employee to take a leave under s. 36 any time within six weeks of the probable date of birth of the child 37(1)

Must be continuous with parental leave 39

PARENTAL – up to 37 weeks, without pay, when the employee has worked for at least 12 continuous months and (a) becomes the birth mother of a child, (b) becomes the birth father of a child, or (c) adopts a child 38(1)

Must submit request for leave at least four weeks before the leave set out is to begin 38(2), and must be complete no later than the first anniversary date of the birth or adoption of the child 38(3)

SICK – one day without pay for every month the employee has been employed up to a maximum of 12 days 59(2)

No employer shall dismiss or lay off an employee solely because of the employee's absence due to illness or injury if the period of absence does not exceed the employee's entitlement under s. 59(2) 59(1)

BEREAVEMENT – up to one week if a member of an employee's family dies, provided that the funeral of the member of the family falls within that week 60(2)

If an employee is designated by the family of a deceased member of a First Nation as the person responsible for organizing the funeral potlatch, the employee is entitled to bereavement leave 60(3)

COMPASSIONATE CARE - up to eight weeks to provide care or support to a family member of the employee if a certificate is issued by a medical practitioner stating that the family member has a serious medical condition with a significant risk of death within 26 weeks from the day the certificate was issued.

CRITICAL ILLNESS OF A CHILD – up to 37 weeks in order to care for or support a critically ill child for employees who have been employed for at least six months 60.02(2)

DISAPPEARANCE OR DEATH OF A CHILD – up to 104 weeks if the employee is the parent of a child who has died and it is probable, considering the circumstances, that the child died as a result of a crime 60.03(2)

Up to 52 weeks if the employee is the parent of a child who has disappeared and it is probable, considering the circumstances, that the child disappeared as a result of a crime 60.03(3)

RESERVISTS – if employee has completed six consecutive months of employment, they are entitled to take leave for the following operations or activities: 60.05(1)
  1. Operation in Canada or abroad that is designated by the Minister of National Defence;
  2. Training for up to 15 days;
  3. Training that they are ordered to take under the National Defence Act;
  4. Duties that they are called out on service to perform under the National Defence Act;
  5. Service in aid of a civil power for which they are called out under the National Defence Act 60.05(1)
TERMINATION/SEVERANCE Employer shall not terminate employee who has been employed for six consecutive months unless they give: 50(1)
  1. One week's notice in writing for employee whose period of employment is less than a year;
  2. Two weeks' notice in writing for 1-3 years employment;
  3. Three weeks' notice in writing for 3-4 years employment;
  4. Four weeks' notice in writing for 4-5 years employment;
  5. Five weeks' notice in writing for 5-6 years employment;
  6. Six weeks' notice in writing for 6-7 years employment;
  7. Seven weeks' notice in writing for 7-8 years employment;
  8. Eight weeks' notice in writing for 8 or more years employment 50(1)

If employer terminates without notice, then the employer shall pay termination pay equal to the amount the employee would have been entitled to receive as regular wages for their normal hours of work over the prescribed period 51

EXEMPTIONS Annual vacation regulations do not apply with respect to employees employed by their own family 20

Act does not apply to the Government of the Yukon or to the employees of the Government of the Yukon

Hours of work regulations do not apply to:
  1. An employee who is a member of the employer's family;
  2. A travelling salesperson;
  3. An individual whose duties are primarily of a supervisory or managerial character
  4. A member or student of a professional association

Act does not apply to:

  1. Person engaged as a guide or outfitter;
  2. Person, other than a percussion drill or diamond drill operator or drill helper, employed in staking, line cutting, geological mapping, geochemical sampling or testing, geophysical surveying or manual stripping activities in the course of exploration for minerals;
  3. Person employed exclusively as a watchman or caretaker, unless her employer is a private security agency;
  4. Farm workers;
  5. Domestics Yukon Reg OIC 1984/344 s. 3
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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