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Nunavut Leave Laws & Holidays

Paid Time Off (PTO), Vacation Time, Sick Leave, Maternity Leave, Bereavement Leave, Jury Duty Leave, Reservists' Leave, and Voting Leave

Table Of Contents

Paid Time Off (PTO) in Nunavut

Vacation Leave Quota 

2 or 3 weeks of vacation. 

An employee who has worked for the same employer for one year and then for the next five years is entitled to a 2-week vacation per year.  

After the first five years of employment (regardless of whether the period of employment is consecutive or accumulated within the last 10 years), the employee will be eligible for a 3-week vacation per year. 

Vacation Pay  

4% or 6% of gross wages. 

Employees are entitled to vacation pay of 4% of gross wages for the first 5 years of employment and 6 % of gross wages after 5 years of employment. The vacation pay must be paid at least one day before the beginning of the vacation. 

Statutory Provisions Addressing Vacation Pay 

Vacation is considered earned wages. 

Payment of Accrued, Unused Vacation on Termination 

When employees leave their job, whether voluntarily or due to being laid off or terminated, they are entitled to receive any accumulated vacation pay that has not already been paid. 

PTO Accrual 

PTO accrual system is not mandatory in Nunavut, but is widely used by companies.      

Employers are generally free to design their own vacation accrual system, although it is usually based on the pay period (payroll cycle). 

Roll Over

The “use-it-or-lose-it” policy is illegal in Nunavut.  

The “use-it-or-lose-it” refers to a policy or benefit that requires employees to use a certain amount of vacation time within a certain timeframe, or risk losing it. 

Sick Leave in Nunavut

Sick Leave / Family Responsibility Leave 

Up to 3 days of unpaid leave.  

Employees are entitled to up to 3 days of unpaid leave per calendar year, after completing 3 consecutive months of employment with the same employer. This leave can be taken for the employee’s own illness or injury, or the illness or injury of a family member. 

Compassionate Care Leave  

Up to 8 weeks of unpaid leave. 

Employees are entitled to up to 8 weeks of unpaid leave to care for and support a family member with a significant risk of dying within 26 weeks. Leave may be taken in periods no shorter than a week. Leave may be taken by 2 or more employees, not to exceed 8 weeks. The employee must provide written notice and a medical certificate. 

Maternity, Paternity, and Parental Leave in Nunavut

The maternity leave could last a maximum of 52 weeks (the pregnancy leave lasts for 17 weeks, and after that, mothers can take an additional 35 weeks of parental leave), in which case the father would get no paternity leave. 

Pregnancy Leave 

17 weeks of unpaid leave. 

Pregnant employees are entitled to up to 17 weeks of unpaid leave, commencing at any time during the seventeen-week period immediately preceding the estimated date of delivery. Leave may be extended, but not to exceed an additional 6 weeks. Employees must provide their employers with a medical certificate if requested.  

Parental Leave  

Up to 37 weeks of unpaid leave. 

Both female and male employees are entitled to take unpaid parental leave to care for their newborn or adopted child. Leave can be taken for up to 37 weeks (unpaid). Parental leave may be shared. Maternity and parental leave, when taken by the employee, may not exceed 52 weeks.  

Employees are eligible for pregnancy and parental leave if they have worked for the same employer for at least 12 consecutive months


Pregnancy and parental leave in Nunavut are unpaid. 

Bereavement Leave in Nunavut

No bereavement leave specifically, but employees may use Family Responsibility Leave for this purpose. 

In Nunavut, the Employment Standards Act does not specifically provide for bereavement leave, but it does provide for Family Responsibility Leave, which allows an employee to take up to 3 days of unpaid leave per calendar year to attend to the health or care of a family member, but also for the death or funeral of a family member. 


Bereavement leave in Nunavut is unpaid. 

Jury Duty Leave in Nunavut

A leave without pay

Employers are obligated to grant their employees unpaid time off to participate in the jury selection process and fulfill their duties as jurors. 


Employers are not required to pay employees who miss work to attend court. However, jurors can claim an allowance or compensation for time spent in court. In Nunavut, jurors receive $100 for the first 5 days (6 days or more: $150 a day).  

Reservists’ Leave in Nunavut

A leave without pay

Employees who are members of the reserve force and have been employed by the same employer for at least 6 consecutive months are entitled to unpaid leave for the following reasons: 

  • participation in an operation, an exercise, training, a search and rescue operation, an emergency situation or other military activity, and 
  • treatment, recovery, or rehabilitation in respect of a physical or mental health problem that results from participation in an operation, exercise, training, search and rescue operation, an emergency situation, or other military activity. 

Employees are required to provide employers with four weeks’ written notice. An employer may require an employee requesting reservist leave to provide a certificate from an official with the reserve force stating that the employee is a member of the reserve force and is required for service. 


Reservists’ leave is unpaid. 

Voting Leave in Nunavut

2 consecutive paid hours.

An employee is allowed to take 2 consecutive hours of paid time off from work to go vote. However, if the time off requested falls outside of the employee’s regular working hours and during voting hours, the employer is not required to grant it. 

The 2023 Statutory Holidays in Nunavut

The public service holidays in Nunavut for 2023 are: 

New Year’s Day (in lieu of) – January 2, 2023 

Good Friday – April 7, 2023 

Easter Monday – April 10, 2023 

Victoria Day – May 22, 2023 

Canada Day (in lieu of) – July 3, 2023 

Nunavut Day (in lieu of) – July 10, 2023 

Civic Holiday – August 7, 2023 

Labour Day – September 4, 2023 

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (in lieu of) – October 2, 2023 

Thanksgiving – October 9, 2023 

Remembrance Day (in lieu of) – November 13, 2023 

Christmas Day – December 25, 2023 

Boxing Day – December 26, 2023 

New Year’s Day – January 1, 2024 


  1. Nunavut Labour Standards Compliance Office, https://nu-lsco.ca/faq-s
  2. Nunavut Employment Law, https://www.replicon.com/regulation/nunavut/
  3. Consolidation of Labour Standards Act, https://nu-lsco.ca/phocadownloadpap/Labour%20Standards%20Act%20Consolidation.pdf

Updated: January 17, 2023 

Check out our Leave Laws page to learn more about laws in various countries.

All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only to permit you to learn more about this region's leave laws. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, and may not be current. Please contact your local legal counsel to learn more about the leave laws in your country.

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