Saskatchewan

Global Compliance Guide

Labor Requirements

The Labour Law in Saskatchewan is regulated mainly by The Saskatchewan Employment Act,1978. The Act governs the terms and conditions of employment such as working hours, holidays and rest periods, wages, overtime, employment relationships. The other acts that govern employment relationships are the Workers Compensation Act,1979, The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code, 2018, etc.

Hours & Pay Regulations

Normal Working Hours

The standard working hours for an employee is 40 hours per week. An employer may schedule the working hours as either 8 hours daily for 5 days a week schedule or 10 hours daily for 4 days a week schedule. The Saskatchewan Employment Act, S.S. 2013, Ch. S-15.1, §§ 2-11.

 

Call In

An employer shall pay an employee:

      • At least the prescribed minimum wage for each hour or part of an hour in which the employee is required or permitted to work or to be at the employer’s disposal; and
      • At least the prescribed minimum sum when the employee reports for duty.

The Saskatchewan Employment Act, S.S. 2013, Ch. S-15.1, §§ 2-16.

 

Modified Work Arrangements

Employers and employees may agree to average hours using a Modified Work Arrangement (MWA). Employers must have the employee’s consent before scheduling the employee to work or to be at the employer’s disposal for more than 44 hours in a week. An MWA may include the following options for averaging periods:

      • 40 hours over one week
      • 80 hours over two weeks
      • 120 hours over three weeks
      • 160 hours over four weeks

The Saskatchewan Employment Act, S.S. 2013, Ch. § -2-19.

 

Recording Requirements

An employer shall maintain records of employees regarding the employee’s wages, hours of work, payroll records, etc. for a duration of 5 years of most recent employee’s employment and shall be kept for a period of 2 hours in case of employee’s termination. The Saskatchewan Employment Act, S.S. 2013, Ch. S-15.1, §§ 2-38.

Overtime

The weekly hours of work are set at 40, with daily hours set at either 8 or 10. If employees work more than these set hours, overtime must be paid 1.5 times their hourly wage or at a prescribed rate for the prescribed category of employees.

 

A day is any period of 24 consecutive hours. Eligible employees scheduled to work eight hours a day earn overtime after eight hours. Employees scheduled to work 10 hours a day earn overtime after 10 hours. This applies even if the employee works less than 40 hours a week. An employer cannot alternate between five, eight-hour days and four, 10-hour days to avoid overtime.

 

An employee shall not without the consent of an employee unless an emergency exists requires him/her to work or be at the employer’s disposal for more than:

      • 44 hours in a week; or
      • 44 hours reduced by eight hours for each public holiday in a week that contains a public holiday.

Banking of Overtime Hours

Employees are eligible to bank overtime hours in exchange for time off with regular pay at a later date. For every overtime hour worked, 1.5 hours must be banked. Days added to the overtime bank shall be used within 12 months after earned.

 

If an employee leaves the employment before using their banked time, any remaining banked time must be paid out within 14 days of the employee’s last day of work. The Saskatchewan Employment Act, S.S. 2013, Ch. S-15.1, §§ 2-12, 2-17 – 2-20.

Breaks

Rest Period

An employee must receive 8 hours of consecutive rest in a 24-hour period unless an emergency exists. The Saskatchewan Employment Act, S.S. 2013, Ch. S-15.1, §§ 2-13.

 

Days of Rest

Employees who usually work a minimum of 20 hours a week are entitled to receive 1 day off from work. In the retail industry, however, employees are entitled to 48 consecutive hours away from work. When possible, one of the rest days should be a Saturday or a Sunday. The Saskatchewan Employment Act, S.S. 2013, Ch. S-15.1, §§ 2-13.

 

Meal Break

An employer shall provide an employee with an unpaid meal break of at least 30 minutes’ duration within every 5 consecutive hours of work. If the employer does not grant the meal break and the employee works for 5 or more consecutive hours, the employer shall permit an employee to eat while working.

 

An employer is not required to grant a meal break in unusual/emergency circumstances or when it is not reasonable for an employee to take a meal break. An employer shall also provide an employee with an unpaid meal break at a time or times necessary for medical reasons. The Saskatchewan Employment Act, S.S. 2013, Ch. S-15.1, §§ 2-14.

Public Holidays

Employees are entitled to 10 paid holidays:

      • Jan. 1: New Year’s Day
      • Family Day (3rd Monday in February)
      • Good Friday
      • Victoria Day (3rd Monday in May)
      • July 1: Canada Day
      • Saskatchewan Day (1st Monday in August)
      • Labor Day (1st Monday in September)
      • Thanksgiving Day (2nd Monday in October)
      • Nov. 11: Remembrance Day
      • Dec. 25: Christmas Day

In cases, where establishments are closed on Sundays, New Year’s Day, Christmas Day or Remembrance Day that falls on a Sunday, the Monday following that day is to be observed as a public holiday. If a Public Holiday falls on a Saturday, it is not observed on a different day.

 

Overtime in a Week with a Public Holiday

In the case of work week where a public holiday occurs, the working hours are reduced by 8 hours, in a way that:

        • Eligible employees are eligible to earn overtime after working for more than 32 hours; and
        • An employer shall take an employee’s consent to schedule work for more than 36 hours.

When a public holiday occurs during a Vacation 

If one or more public holidays occur during the period of any vacation of an employee:

          • The period of that vacation must be increased by one working day with respect to each public holiday; and
          • The employer shall pay the employee, in addition to the vacation pay that the employee is entitled to receive, the wages that the employee is entitled to be paid for each public holiday.

Public Holiday Pay

An employer shall pay an employee for every public holiday an amount equal to:

      • 5% of the employee’s wages, not including overtime pay, earned in the 4 weeks period preceding the public holiday; or
      • An amount calculated in the prescribed manner for a prescribed category of employees.

An employer shall include in the calculation of an employee’s wages:

        • Vacation pay which employee takes in the 4 weeks preceding the public holiday; and
        • Public holiday pay in an amount as mentioned above, if another public holiday occurs in the 4-week period preceding the public holiday

If an employee works on a public holiday, an employer shall pay the employee the total of:

          • The amount equivalent to 5% of the employee’s wages earned in the 4 weeks period preceding the public holiday or an amount calculated in the prescribed manner for a prescribed category of employees.
          • For each hour or part of an hour in which the employee works or be at the employer’s disposal an amount calculated at a rate of 1.5 times the employee’s hourly wage; or an amount calculated in the prescribed manner for a prescribed category of employees.

The Saskatchewan Employment Act, S.S. 2013, Ch. S-15.1, §§ 2-24 – 2-29.

Annual Leave

Employees are eligible for the following vacation leave entitlements:

      • An employee who works with the same employer for more than a year and less than 10 years, shall receive 3 weeks of vacation leave upon completion of each year of employment; and
      • An employee who works for more than 10 years or more with the same employer shall receive 4 weeks of annual vacation upon completion of each year of employment.

Manner of Taking a Vacation

An employee shall be allowed by his/her employer to take the entire vacation within 12 months after the date on which the employee becomes entitled to it, which can either be taken in one continuous and uninterrupted manner or can be taken in shorter periods if the length of the vacation is less than a week’s duration.

 

Vacation Pay

An employee is to be paid vacation pay in the following amounts:

          • For the first 9 years of employment, vacation pay can be calculated by multiplying the employee’s wages for the given 12-month period by 3/52(approximately 6%).
          • For tenure of 10 years and beyond, vacation pay can be calculated by multiplying the employee’s wages for the given 12-month period by 4/52(approximately 8%).

An employee who is entitled to vacation but does not take that vacation shall be paid vacation pay not later than 11 months after the day on which the employee becomes entitled to the vacation. The employer shall pay vacation pay to the employee either on the employee’s normal payday or at the employee’s request before going on vacation leave.

 

When a Public Holiday occurs during a Vacation

If one or more public holidays occur during the period of any vacation that an employee has been permitted by the employer to take:

      • The period of that vacation shall be increased by one working day with respect to each public holiday and;
      • The employer shall pay the employee, in addition to the vacation pay, the wages that the employee is entitled to be paid for each public holiday.

Payment of Vacation pay on ending of Employment

An employee is entitled to vacation pay on the basis of wages earned by the employee with respect to which the employee has not received the vacation pay previously and shall be paid within 14 days upon termination of employment. The employee shall be paid vacation pay whether or not an employee has completed a year of employment. The Saskatchewan Employment Act, S.S. 2013, Ch. S-15.1, §§ 2-24 – 2-29.

Minimum Wage

The current minimum wage is $11.32 per hour. Effective October 1, 2020, the minimum wage will be increased to $11.45 per hour.

 

The minimum wage might not be up to date & is subject to change. Please access this link to get the updated wage rates.

Meal Breaks

An employer shall provide an employee an unpaid meal break that is of at least 30 minutes’ duration within every five consecutive hours of work.

 

If the employer does not grant the meal break and the employee works five or more consecutive hours, the employer shall permit an employee to eat while working. An employer shall provide an employee with an unpaid meal break at a time or times necessary for medical reasons. The Saskatchewan Employment Act, S.S. 2013, Ch. S-15.1, §§ 2-14.

Special Leave

Sick Leave

An employee is eligible to unpaid leave (unless otherwise agreed upon by employer and employee):

      • Due to the illness or injury of the employee; or
      • Due to the illness or injury of a member of the employee’s immediate family who is dependent on the employee.

An employee is entitled to sick leave if they have been in the continuous service of the employer for 13 consecutive weeks before the absence, in the below manner:

        • A total of 12 days in a calendar year if the illness or injury is not serious;
        • 12 weeks in a period of 52 weeks if the illness or injury is serious; or
        • 26 weeks in a period of 52 weeks if the employee is receiving benefits under the Workers’ Compensation Act.

The Saskatchewan Employment Act, S.S. 2013, Ch. S-15.1, §§ 2-40

Maternity Leave

An employee who is pregnant is entitled to an unpaid maternity leave of 19 weeks commencing at any time during the period of 13 weeks preceding the estimated date of birth, and no later than the date of birth. If the actual date of birth is later than the estimated date of birth, the employee is entitled to not less than 6 weeks’ leave after the actual date of birth. An employee may extend the leave for a further period of 6 weeks if the employee is unable for medical reasons to return to work after the expiration of the maternity leave. 

 

An employee whose pregnancy terminates on a date, not more than 13 weeks before the estimated date of birth due to a miscarriage or a stillbirth may still take the same amount of leave.

 

An employer shall grant a maternity leave for a period not exceeding 15 weeks commencing at any time during the period of 9 weeks preceding the estimated date of birth( or 6 weeks leave after the actual birth of the child if the actual date is later than the estimated date of birth), to an employee who: 

      • Has failed to provide 4 weeks’ notice to the employer requesting maternity leave, but is otherwise entitled to maternity leave; and
      • Has not provided her employer with a certificate of a duly qualified medical practitioner certifying that there are bona fide medical reasons that require the employee to cease work immediately. 

The Saskatchewan Employment Act, S.S. 2013, Ch. S-15.1, §§ 2-49 – 2-50

Adoption Leave

An employee is entitled to an unpaid leave of 19 weeks commencing on the date on which the child comes into the employee’s care or becomes available for adoption if the employee is to be the primary caregiver of the adopted child during the period of the leave. The Saskatchewan Employment Act, S.S. 2013, Ch. S-15.1, §§ 2-50.

Parental Leave

An employee who is a parent of a newborn child or a newly adopted child is entitled to a parental leave of not more than: 

                • 59 weeks, if the employee has taken maternity leave or adoption leave; or
                • 71 weeks, in other cases.

Parental leave must be taken during the period of:

                  • 13 weeks preceding the estimated date of birth or the estimated date on which the child is to come into the employee’s care, as the case may be; and
                  • Either if one employee is taking such leave, 78 weeks following the actual date of birth or the actual date on which the child comes into the employee’s care; or if two employees are taking such leave with respect to the same child, 86 weeks following the actual date of birth or the actual date on which the child comes into the employee’s care.

A woman employee shall take the parental leave consecutive to the maternity leave or adoption leave, as applicable. The Saskatchewan Employment Act, S.S. 2013, Ch. S-15.1, §§ 2-51.

Organ Donation Leave

An employee is entitled to unpaid leave for organ donation for the period, as certified by a duly qualified medical practitioner, required for organ donation and recovery from the procedure. The maximum leave for an organ donation and recovery is 26 weeks. The Saskatchewan Employment Act, S.S. 2013, Ch. S-15.1, §§ 2-52.

Reserve Force Service Leave

An employee is entitled to a reasonable period of unpaid leave for the purpose of service with the reserve forces. The Saskatchewan Employment Act, S.S. 2013, Ch. S-15.1, §§ 2-53.

Nomination, Candidate and Public Office Leave

An employee is entitled to a leave:

                • To seek nomination as a candidate for a municipal, provincial or federal election or an election for a board of education or the Conseil scolaire fransaskois, for a reasonable period;
                • To be a candidate for a municipal, provincial or federal election or an election for a board of education or the Conseil scolaire fransaskois, for a reasonable period; or
                • If the employee has been elected to a municipal, provincial or federal government or a board of education or the Conseil scolaire fransaskois, for the period during the employee’s term of office that may be necessary.

The Saskatchewan Employment Act, S.S. 2013, Ch. S-15.1, §§ 2-54.

Bereavement Leave

An employee is entitled to a bereavement leave of 5 days in the case of the death of a member of the employee’s immediate family. The leave mentioned must be taken within the period commencing one week before and ending one week after the funeral relating to the death with respect to which the leave is granted. The Saskatchewan Employment Act, S.S. 2013, Ch. S-15.1, §§ 2-55.

Compassionate Care Leave

An employee is entitled to unpaid compassionate care leave of up to 28 weeks to provide care or support to a member of the employee’s family who has a serious medical condition with a significant risk of death within 26 weeks from the date the leave commences. An employee’s compassionate care leave ends:

            • If the employee is no longer providing care or support to the family members;
            • On the termination of the 28-week period mentioned; or
            • On the death of the employee’s family member.

In a period of 52 weeks, an employee is not entitled to take more than one compassionate care leave. The Saskatchewan Employment Act, S.S. 2013, Ch. S-15.1, §§ 2-56.

Interpersonal Violence Leave

An employee is entitled to a leave of up to 10 days in a period of 52 weeks, which can be taken intermittently or in a continuous period if the employee or their children (under the age of 18) is subject to interpersonal or sexual violence.

 

Payment during Leave

An employee is entitled to paid leave in the below manner:

      • Paid leave for a maximum of 5 days in each period of 52 weeks at a rate equal to the wages the employee would have been paid for working for the regular number of hours on the first day of leave or 5% of the employee’s total wages, not including overtime, in the 4 weeks preceding the first day of the leave if the number of hours worked by the employee in a normal workday varies from day to day; or the employee’s wage for regular hours of work varies from day to day; and
      • Unpaid leave for a maximum of a further 5 days in each period of 52 weeks.

The Saskatchewan Employment Act, S.S. 2013, Ch. S-15.1, §§ 2-56.1; The Saskatchewan Employment (Support for Victims of Domestic Violence) Amendment Act.

Critically Ill Child Care Leave

An employee is entitled to:

              • Critically ill child care unpaid leave of up to 37 weeks to provide care and support to the employee’s critically ill child family member; and
              • Critically ill adult care unpaid leave of up to 17 weeks to provide care and support to the employee’s critically ill adult family member. 

An employee’s leave shall end:

      • If the employee is no longer providing care or support to the child family member or adult family member;
      • 52 weeks from the date the medical certificate is issued;
      • On the termination of the 37-week period or 17-week period, as applicable; or
      • On the death of the employee’s child family member or adult family member.

The Saskatchewan Employment Act, S.S. 2013, Ch. S-15.1, §§ 2-57.

Crime Related Death or Disappearance Leave

An employee is entitled to an unpaid leave of up to 104 weeks if a child of the employee dies and it is probable that the child’s death is a result of a crime. An employee is entitled to a leave of up to 52 weeks if a child of the employee disappears and it is probable that the child’s disappearance is a result of a crime. 

 

If an employee takes leave due to the disappearance of a child as a result of crime and the child is found within the 52-week period that begins in the week the child disappears, the employee is entitled: 

      • To remain on leave for 14 days after the day the child is found if found alive; or
      • To take 104 weeks of leave from the day the child disappeared, if found dead, whether or not the employee is still on leave when the child is found. 

An employee may take a leave only during the 104-week and 52-week period respectively that begins in the week the child dies or disappears as a result of a crime. The Saskatchewan Employment Act, S.S. 2013, Ch. S-15.1, §§ 2-58.

Citizenship Ceremony Leave

An employee is entitled to 1 day leave to attend a citizenship ceremony to receive a certificate of citizenship. The Saskatchewan Employment Act, S.S. 2013, Ch. S-15.1, §§ 2-59.

Public Health Emergency Leave

An employee is entitled to a paid leave for a period as may be required in situations where a public health emergency has been declared by the World Health Organization or when a disease sufficiently harmful to the public exists in Saskatchewan. The Saskatchewan Employment Act, S.S. 2013, Ch. S-15.1, §§ 2-59.1.

Voting Leave

An employee is eligible for 3 consecutive hours paid off from work for the purpose of voting. An employer does not have an obligation to provide time off work where the required number of consecutive hours falls outside an employee’s hours of work and within the voting hours.

Last updated on: July 29th, 2020