The local provincial by-elections for the ridings of
Kitchener-Waterloo and Vaughan are fast approaching. Voting
day is September 6th, 2012. Employers of employees
eligible to vote in those ridings must be aware of their rights and
obligations under the Election Act of Ontario.
Employers who do not follow the rules set out in the Act may be
charged with an offence and liable to fines of up to $5,000 per
Do I need to give my employees time off to
All employees who are qualified to vote are entitled to three
(3) consecutive hours to vote on election day, September
Employees are qualified to vote if they are:
18 years of age or older
a Canadian citizen, and
reside in the electoral district
Employers are only required to grant time off where, because of
his or her work schedule, the employee does not have three (3)
consecutive hours to vote outside of work. Where this is the
case, the employee can request, and the employer must grant, time
off work for the employee to attend the poll. Employers must not
deduct pay from the employee for any absence from work, but do have
the authority to specify which time of day the employee can leave
the workplace to vote.
Do I need to give my employees time off work if they
are appointed as officials in the election?
Yes, employers in Ontario are required to grant unpaid leave to
an employee who has been appointed a returning officer or a poll
Employees are required to give seven (7) days notice to their
employer before the leave is to begin.
Can I prohibit campaign paraphernalia and campaigning
at the workplace?
Yes, employers can prohibit campaign paraphernalia and
campaigning in the workplace as long as the policy is
communicated to employees, and is consistently enforced in the
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