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Vacations

Do the employees have the right to choose their weeks of vacations?

The employees can require that the vacations be granted between April 30 and the September 1 (article 8.08), but it is left to the employer to determine the exact weeks according to its suitability. Union employees have a priority of seniority in the choice of the vacations. Several non union employers also adopt this principle although they are not held to do so.

How is vacation pay calculated?

Initially, the employer must establish the qualifying period and it must be the same one for all of its employees. It is a question of choosing the pay period closest to May 1 of one year and the period closest to April 30 of the following year. Then, one must take the total of all the earnings of the qualifying period (including vacation pay, bonuses, hours of illness, etc), and this, for each employee. To obtain the vacation pay, one multiplies this total by 6%, 8%, 10% or 12% according to the number of years of service of the employee at the end of this year of reference (see article 8 of the Decree).

At what time is vacation pay due?

Vacation pay is due before the employee leaves on vacation (article 8.05). It should not be paid at the beginning of May, for example, if the employee only leaves on vacation in August.

Can the vacations be split?

The vacations can be split in two periods, at the request of the employee (article 8.12). They can also be split in more than two periods, always at the request of the employee, but only if the employer agrees to it.

In the cases of splitting, the employer can divide the vacation pay according to the split requested.

Can vacations be deferred to the following year when the employee did not take them?

Article 8.11 says that vacations must be taken in the 12 months which follow the end of the reference period. That is to say that vacations cannot be deferred to the following year. When the employer approaches the end of the qualifying period, towards the end April, he should pay or grant any vacation of the preceding qualifying period which has not yet been paid.

Nevertheless, article 8.11 allows two exceptions. Upon the employee's request, an employer may:

  • authorize an anticipated vacation (a vacation taken before the end of the qualifying period);
  • defer the annual vacation to the following year when it has not been taken during the 12 months following the end of a qualifying period if the employee is absent owing to sickness, accident, family or parental matters.