Prince Edward Island

Global Compliance Guide

Labor Requirements

The Employment Standards Act, Youth Employment Act, and other labor laws define the rights and obligations of employees and employers and set the minimum standards to ensure individuals are treated fairly in the workplace.

 

 

Hours & Pay Regulations

Normal Working Hours

The standard number of hours of work that an employer may require an employee during a workweek is 48 hours. Labor Standard Act, §15.

 

Reporting Pay

Each time an employee is required to report to work or for work-related activity, the employer shall pay the employee wages at the employee’s regular rate of pay for not less than three hours

Overtime

Work hours performed by the employee during a workweek in excess of the standard weekly work hours are defined as overtime. 

 

Overtime Pay

An employer is required to pay an employee at the rate of 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate of pay if they work more than 48 hours in any week.

 

Overtime Hours – Time off in lieu 

Where an employee performs one or more overtime hours of work for the employer during a workweek, the employer may, instead of paying, give the employee 1.5 hours of paid time off work for each overtime hour worked, if:

      • The employee requests such compensation in writing; and
      • The paid time off work is taken by the employee within three months of the workweek in which the overtime was earned.

Where Employment Ends Before Paid Time Off is Taken 

Where the employment ends before any paid time off requested for overtime hours worked has been taken, the employer shall pay the employee overtime pay at 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate of pay for any overtime hours that the employee worked and has not been compensated for. Labor Standard Act, §15.1.

Breaks

An employer shall provide for each employee an unpaid rest or eating period of at least a half-hour at intervals such that as a result, no employee works longer than five consecutive hours without an unpaid rest or eating period.

 

An employer shall not require an employee to remain at the employee’s place of employment during an unpaid rest period or eating period.  Labor Standard Act, §16.

Work On Rest Days

An employer has to provide each employee, with an unpaid rest period of at least 24 consecutive hours in every period of seven days and, whenever possible, that rest period shall include Sunday. Labor Standard Act, §16.

Sunday Work

Retail Business Only

An employee who is employed by an employer engaged in a retail business to which the Retail Business Holidays Act R.S.P.E.I. 1988, Cap. R-13.02 applies, may refuse to work on any Sunday for that employer if the employee gives the employer verbal or written notice of refusal at least seven days before any Sunday to which the refusal applies. 

 

Refusal may Cover Multiple Sundays

An employee may give the notice in relation to one Sunday, more than one Sunday or any combination of Sundays. No employer, or person acting on behalf of an employer, shall dismiss, suspend, lay off, penalize, discipline or discriminate against an employee because the employee has refused, or given a notice of refusal, to work on a Sunday. Labor Standard Act, §16.1. 

Public Holidays

Paid holiday means New Year’s Day, Islander Day, Good Friday, Canada Day, Labor Day, Remembrance Day, Christmas Day and any day prescribed as a paid holiday in the regulations.

 

Every employer has to grant every employee a holiday with pay on each paid holiday falling within any period of employment.

 

Paid Holiday on Non-Working Day

When a paid holiday falls on a day that is a non-working day, the employer is required to grant a holiday with pay on either:

      • The working day immediately following the paid holiday; or
      • The day immediately following the employee’s vacation, 

Or grant the employee another day agreed upon by the employee and the employer before the date of the next annual vacation of the employee.

 

Holiday Pay

      • Where an employee is required to work on a paid holiday, the employee is entitled to holiday pay at a rate at least equal to 1.5 times the regular rate of wages for the time worked on that day in addition to a day’s pay at the employee’s regular rate of pay; or,
      • The employer can pay that employee at the employee’s regular rate of wages for the time worked on that day and grant the employee a holiday with pay on another day agreed by the employer and the employee before the date of the next annual vacation of the employee.

An employer of an employee whose wages are calculated on a weekly or monthly basis shall not reduce the employee’s weekly or monthly wages for a week or month in which a paid holiday occurs by reason only that the employee does not work on the paid holiday.

 

Exceptions

Holiday Pay does not apply if the employee:

      • Has been in the employ of his or her present employer for less than 30 calendar days prior to the paid holiday;
      • Has not received pay for at least 15 of the 30 calendar days immediately preceding the paid holiday;
      • Fails, without reasonable cause, to work on both the employee’s last scheduled workday before the paid holiday and the employee’s first scheduled workday after the paid holiday. This does not apply to an employee if the employer has directed or permitted the employee not to report for work on one or both of the scheduled workdays;
      • Has agreed to work on the paid holiday and has, without reasonable cause, failed to report for and perform work on the paid holiday; or
      • Is employed under a contract of service under which the employee may elect to work or not when requested to do so.

Labor Standard Act, §6 – 10

Annual Leave

Where an employee works for an employer for a continuous 12 months period, the employer is required to, not later than four months after the twelve-month period ends, give the employee:

      • An unbroken vacation of at least 2 weeks, if the employee has less than 8 years of continuous employment with the employer, or,
      • An unbroken vacation of at least 3 weeks, if the employee has at least 8 years of continuous employment with the employer.

Where an employee works for an employer for a continuous 12 months period, the employer is required to notify the employee of the date the employee’s vacation begins at least 1 week before the employee’s vacation begins.

 

Where an employee works for an employer for a continuous 12 months period, the employer has to pay at least one day before the vacation begin:

      • An amount at least equal to 4 % of the employee’s wages for the twelve-month period during which the employee established the right to a vacation, if the employee has less than 8 years of continuous employment, or
      • An amount at least equal to 6 % of the employee’s wages for the twelve-month period during which the employee established the right to vacation if the employee has at least 8 years of continuous employment.

Holiday Occurring During Vacation

Where a paid holiday occurs during the period of a vacation, the period of the vacation shall be lengthened by one working day. 

 

Sick Leave 

Sick leave with pay shall not be considered as a vacation with pay or pay in lieu of vacation.

 

Vacation pay on termination of employment 

Where employment ceases, the employer shall, not later than the last day of the next regular pay period after the employee’s employment ceases, pay to the employee:

      • An amount equal to 4 percent of the employee’s wages for the period the employee has worked for the employer if the employee has worked for a period of less than twelve continuous months;
      • An amount equal to 4 percent of the employee’s wages for the period the employee has worked for the employer from the date the employee last became entitled, to vacation with pay, if the employee has been employed continuously by the employer for a period of at least one year and less than eight years; or
      • An amount equal to 6 percent of the employee’s wages for the period the employee has worked for the employer from the date the employee last became entitled, to vacation with pay, if the employee has been employed continuously by the employer for a period of at least eight years.

Waiver of Entitlement to Vacation with Pay

Where an employee works for a continuous twelve-month period and works less than 90 percent of the normal working hours of the employee during that period, the employee may waive the employee’s entitlement to regular vacation with pay in return for the payment provided under vacation pay on termination , by giving the employer written notice of the waiver prior to the end of the twelve-month period. 

 

Pay in Lieu of Vacation 

Where an employee gives an employer notice of the employee’s wish to waive his or her entitlement to a vacation with pay, the employer shall pay to the employee, not later than 1 month after the end of the twelve-month period:

      • An amount at least equal to 4 percent of the employee’s wages for the 12-month period, if the employee has less than 8 years of continuous employment; or
      • An amount at least equal to 6 percent of the employee’s wages for the 12-month period if the employee has at least eight years of continuous employment.

Labor Standard Act, §11 – 13

Minimum Wage

The minimum rate of wages for all employees is $12.85 per hour effective April 1, 2020. Minimum Wage Order, Section 1.

 

 

 

The minimum wage is subject to change and may not be up to date. Kindly access the link to get the current wage rates.

Special Leave

Maternity Leave

Where a pregnant employee who has been employed for a total of at least 20 weeks of the 52 weeks immediately preceding the commencement date for the maternity leave submits an application, in, to the employer and provides the employer with a certificate from a medical practitioner that states that the employee is pregnant and specifies the estimated date of birth, the employer of the employee shall grant the employee maternity leave without pay from employment with the employer for a period not exceeding 17 weeks without pay commencing at any time during the period of 13 weeks immediately preceding the estimated date of birth.

 

An application by an employee to her employer for maternity leave shall be made in writing which specifies the dates that the employee proposes to commence and terminate the leave and be given to the employer at least 4 weeks before the commencement date for the leave.

 

In cases where the actual date of birth is later than the estimated date of birth, the employee is entitled to not less than six weeks leave after the actual date. The employee may return to work and the employer may permit the employee to return to work at a date earlier than six weeks after the date of actual delivery. Labor Standard Act, §18 – 21.

Parental and Adoption Leave

Where an employee who has been employed for a total of at least 20 weeks of the 52 weeks immediately preceding the day on which the requested leave is to commence, who, has becomes the natural parent of a child, or assumes actual care and custody of a child for the purposes of adoption, or adopts or obtains legal guardianship of a child under the law, shall be granted, parental leave without pay for a continuous period of up to 62 weeks. 

 

The employee is required to submit an application for parental leave at least four weeks before the expected date of commencement of the leave and include the date of termination of the leave. The aggregate amount of leave that may be taken by one or two employees for maternity and parental leave in respect of the same event, shall not exceed 78 weeks.

 

Where an employee intends to take parental leave in addition to maternity leave, the employee must commence the parental leave immediately on expiry of the maternity leave without a return to work after the expiry of the maternity leave and before the commencement of the parental leave, unless the employee and the employer otherwise agree.

 

Parental leave shall be taken only during the 52-week period commencing on the date of the child’s birth or the date on which the child comes into the custody of the employee, whichever is later.

 

Leave Extension

Where an employee who is on leave without pay granted for maternity or parental leave submits an application to the employer for an extension of such leave provides a certificate from a medical practitioner that states the requirement, the employer shall grant the employee an extension of the leave of absence without pay of up to 5 consecutive weeks, beginning immediately after the end of the leave granted. Labor Standard Act, § 22.

Family Leave

Where an employee has been employed for a continuous period of 6 months or more, the employer shall, at the request of the employee, grant the employee leaves of absence without pay of up to 3 days, in total, during a twelve calendar-month period to meet responsibilities related to the health or care of a person who is a member of the immediate family or extended family of the employee.

 

An employee who intends to take a leave shall advise the employer of the intention to take the leave, the commencement date of the leave and the anticipated duration of the leave. Labor Standard Act, § 22.1.

Leave Related to Critically Ill Child

Where an employee has been employed for a continuous period of three months or more and is the parent of a critically ill child, the employer shall, on the request of the employee, grant to the employee unpaid leave of absence for up to 37 weeks without pay within a 52- week period for the purpose of providing care and support to the critically ill child.

 

An employee’s entitlement to unpaid leave ends on the last day of the workweek in which either the critically ill child dies, or the employee has taken 37 weeks of unpaid leave of absence. An unpaid leave of absence taken may only be taken in periods of not less than one workweek in duration. 

 

The total amount of unpaid leave of absence that may be taken by two or more employees in respect of the care and support of the same critically ill child or children shall not exceed 37 weeks. Labor Standard Act, §22.11.

Leave Related to Death or Disappearance of a Child

Where an employee has been employed by an employer for a continuous period of three months or more and is the parent of a child who has disappeared and it is probable, considering the circumstances, that the child disappeared as a result of a crime, the employer shall, on the request of the employee, grant to the employee unpaid leave of absence for up to 52 weeks, commencing the first day of the workweek during which the child disappears. In case of the death of the child due to crime, the unpaid leave of absence is 104 weeks.

 

An employee’s entitlement to an unpaid leave of absence ends on the last day of the workweek in which any of the following occur:

      • 14 days have expired since the child is found alive or since circumstances changed and it no longer seemed probable that the disappearance/death of the child was the result of a crime;
      • 52/104 weeks have expired
      • The child is found dead in case of disappearance. 

An unpaid leave of absence taken may only be taken in periods of not less than one workweek in duration. Labor Standard Act, §22.12.

Sick Leave

Where an employee has been employed for a continuous period of at least 3 months, the employer shall grant the employee leaves of absence without pay of up to 3 days, in total, during a 12 calendar-month period for sick leave. The employer may require the employee to provide the employer with a certificate signed by a medical practitioner certifying that the employee is or was unable to work due to illness or injury.

 

Paid Day of Sick Leave 

Where an employee has been employed for a continuous period of at least 5 years, the employer shall grant the employee 1 day of paid sick leave during a 12 calendar-month period in addition to any unpaid leave that the employee is entitled. Labor Standard Act, §22.2.

Compassionate Care Leave

Every employer shall grant an unpaid leave of absence of up to 28 weeks to an employee for the purpose of providing care and support to a family member of the employee. The employee has to provide a copy of a certificate issued by a medical practitioner within 26 weeks.

 

An unpaid leave of absence taken commences the first day of the workweek for which the certificate was issued; or where the unpaid leave of absence was commenced before the certificate was issued and ends when the unpaid leave of absence taken expires or if employee’s family member dies.

 

An unpaid leave of absence taken may only be taken in periods of not less than one work week’s duration. The total amount of unpaid leave of absence that may be taken by two or more employees shall not exceed 28 weeks. Labor Standard Act, §22.3.

Domestic Violence, Sexual Violence, Intimate Partner Leave

Where an employee has worked for a continuous period of three months or more, the employer shall grant the employee leaves of absence with pay of up to 3 days, and leaves of absence without pay of up to 7 additional days, which the employee may choose to take intermittently or in one continuous period, during a twelve-calendar-month period, taken at the employee’s discretion, for a domestic violence leave, intimate partner violence leave or sexual violence leave. Labor Standard Act, §22.4.

Bereavement Leave

On the death of a member of the immediate family or extended family of an employee, the employer of the employee shall grant to the employee a leave of absence of:

      • 1 day of paid leave and up to two consecutive days of unpaid leave, if the deceased person was a member of the immediate family of the employee; or
      • Up to 3 consecutive days of unpaid leave, if the deceased person was a member of the extended family of the employee. 

Where an employer’s employee is entitled to one day of paid leave the employer shall pay the employee for the day of the leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay for a day of work. Where an employee, during the period of a vacation, takes a paid day of leave the employer shall extend the employee’s vacation by one working day. Labor Standard Act, §23.

Reservist Leave

An employee who is a member of the Reserves has been employed in civilian employment for at least 6 consecutive months; and has volunteered for service and, as a result, is required to be absent from work for the purpose of service, is entitled to a unpaid leave of absence in accordance with the purpose of service.

 

An employer who has granted unpaid leave to an employee shall permit the employee to resume work in the position occupied by the employee at the time such unpaid leave commenced or, if that position no longer exists, in a comparable position with not less than the same wages and benefits the employee would have received if the employee wasn’t granted the leave of absence.

 

An employer is not obliged to pay pension benefits in respect of any period of unpaid leave granted to an employee. Labor Standard Act, §23.1.

Court Duty Leave

An employee has entitlement to a leave of absence without pay for any period that the employee is absent from work as a result of being:

        • Summoned to serve on a jury;
        • Selected to serve on a jury; or
        • Served with a summons to attend at the hearing of the action, application or proceeding as a witness.

Labor Standard Act, §23.2

Last updated on: August 31st, 2020