Canadians head for the polls in the federal election on Monday,
October 19, 2015. The CanadaElections Act
provides that with the exception of certain employees in the
transportation sector, every employee who is an elector is entitled
to have three consecutive hours away from work during voting hours
for the purpose of casting his or her vote. In most cases, this
will not be an issue, since work schedules will already result in
an employee having three consecutive hours off during voting
hours. If, however, an employee's schedule at work is
such that he or she does not already have three consecutive hours
off to vote, the employer must, at a time chosen by the employer,
allow each employee time off such that the employee has three
consecutive hours free from work during voting hours.
Employers cannot make a deduction from the pay of an employee, or
impose a penalty, for the time that the employer allows the
employee to vote.
For example, if the voting hours in the riding are 9:30 a.m. to
9:30 p.m. and the employee usually works from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00
p.m., the hours of work will not allow for three consecutive hours
for voting. To give the employee three consecutive hours to vote,
the employer could allow the employee to arrive late (at 12:30
p.m.), let the employee leave early (at 6:30 p.m.), or give the
employee three hours off at some point during the work day.
Notwithstanding the time off, the employee must still receive the
full pay for the regular shift.
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