British Columbia Leave Laws
Paid federal statutory holidays
- New Year’s Day – 1st January
- Good Friday – 2 days before Easter Sunday
- Victoria Day – Monday preceding May 25th
- Canada Day – 1st July
- Labour Day – first Monday of September
- Thanksgiving Day – second Monday of October
- Remembrance Day – 11th November
- Christmas Day – 25th December
- Boxing Day – 26th December
Provincial Paid holidays
British Columbia has additional holidays:
- Family Day – 3rd Monday of February
- British Columbia Day – 1st Monday of August
Boxing Day is not celebrated in British Columbia
Businesses are not required to stop working during the statutory holidays. To be eligible work and receive the pay employees must have:
- Been employed with the business for at least 30 days
- Worked at least 15 of the 30 calendar days in the last 12 months
Eligible Pay Rate and/or Entitlement:
- If the holiday falls on a regular workday: Daily wage + 1.5 times regular rate for the first 12 hours, and 2 times regular rate for additional hours
- If the holiday falls on a non-working day: The above rates + one day paid leave (taken before the next annual vacation)
In British Columbia employees are entitled to 2 consecutive weeks of vacation leave after the first year of employment and 3 consecutive weeks of leave after the five years of employment.
Employees are entitled to vacation pay of 4% of gross wages for the first five years of employment and 6 % of gross wages after five years of employment. Employees are entitled to receive the pay within 7 days prior to the commencement of a vacation.
The rollover policy
- Statutory Provisions Addressing Vacation Pay
Vacation is considered earned wages.
- Use-It-or-Lose-It Policy
In Canada is illegal to use the policy.
- Payment of Accrued Vacation upon Termination
The employee’s earnings must be paid upon termination of employment. Employees who are employed for 5 days or less are not entitled to receive vacation pay.
- Vacation and PTO
Vacation pay is calculated as a percentage of the gross wages an employee earns during the “year of employment”.
- Personal leave and family responsibility leave – Sick Leave
The Employment Standards Act provides eligible employees with up to 3 days of unpaid job-protected leave per year. Employees are allowed to take leave if they are unable to work due to personal illness or injury.
Family responsibility leave Employees are entitled to take up to 5 days of unpaid leave per year to help with the care, health or education of a child under the age of 19 in their care or care for any other family member with a health condition. Unused days cannot be rolled over to the next year.
Maternity, Paternity, FMLA
Employers are required to provide eligible employees up to 17 weeks of unpaid leave. Leave cannot start earlier than 13 weeks before the estimated birth date. Employees may be required to provide a medical certificate.
Employees are entitled to at least 6 weeks of leave after the birth of a child and 6 more weeks if they are unable to return to work for reasons related to childbirth, a total of 12 weeks. Employees must provide a medical certificate if they want to return to work sooner.
Employers are required to provide employees with up to 62 weeks of unpaid parental leave. Both parents are entitled to a full period of leave.
Leave can start any time after the birth or adoption of a child but must be completed within 78 weeks of the date the baby is born or placed with the parents. Parents may be allowed to receive 5 more weeks of leave due to a child’s physical, psychological, or emotional condition.
A medical certificate may be requested for both leave and extension of leave.
Pregnant employees can take maternity and parental leave. Pregnant employees are entitled to take up to 61 weeks of unpaid parental leave immediately after 17 weeks of maternity leave ends. A total of 78 weeks of leave.
Jury Duty Leave
British Columbia Leave Laws – Jury Duty Leave
All employers must allow employees to take unpaid leave in order to attend court as jurors.
Employees are entitled to take up to 3 days of unpaid leave due to the death of an immediate family member.
- Leave does not have to be consecutive days.
- Does not need to be for attending a funeral
- Does not have to start on the date of death
Leave related to death or disappearance of a child
Employers are required to provide eligible employees with up to 52 weeks if the child has disappeared, and up to 104 weeks if the child has died as a probable result of a crime. Employees are allowed to take leave in different amounts of time in agreement with the employer.
Leave relater to the disappearance of a child
Employees are entitled to take:
- 14 days after the child is found alive
- Leave related to the death of a child on the date the child is found dead
Leave ends if the disappearance is no a result of a crime or if the employee is charged with a crime related to the disappearance of a child.
Leave related to the death of a child
Employees are entitled to take the leave on the date of a child’s death or in case of the disappearance of a child, on the date the child is found dead. Leave ends if the employee is charged with a crime related to the death of a child.
Compassionate care leave, Critical illness leave and Leave for victims of family violence
Critical illness leave provides employees with unpaid job-protected leave to care for
– Critically ill child – up to 36 weeks
– A critically ill adult over the age of 19 – up to 16 weeks
Employees are required to provide an employer with a medical certificate providing the following information:
- proving that the life of the family member is at risk
- care and support can be provided by someone who is not a medical professional
- period of time needed for care or support of the family member
If the family member is still at risk after 52 weeks of leave, the employee is required to provide a new medical certificate.
Compassionate care leave
Employers are required to provide employees with up to 27 weeks of unpaid leave within 52-week period to care for a family member that is terminally ill.
Employees must provide a medical certificate indicating that the family member has a serious medical condition and is at risk of death. If the family member does not die within the 52-week period, an employee is required to provide a new medical certificate.
Leave for victims of family or sexual violence
Employees are entitled to up to 10 days of unpaid leave per year due to situations of family or sexual violence. Leave may be extended.
British Columbia Leave Laws – Reservist Leave
Employers are required to provide employees who are reservists for the Canadian Forces with 20 days of job-protected unpaid leave for the following reasons:
- Being deployed to a Canadian Forces operation outside of Canada
- Participating in pre-or post-deployment training activities
- Being deployed to assist with an emergency or its aftermath in Canada
A four weeks’ written notice is required.
Please consult your local legal counsel to learn more about British Columbia Leave Laws.
To learn more about laws in various countries, check out our Leave Laws page.