Prince Edward Island

Global Compliance Guide

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.

 

Exemptions

The Employment Standard Board may, by order, prescribe standard work weeks, other than 48 hours workweek comprising the number of hours of work in excess of the number prescribed. Sec 15 of the Employment Standard Act

Overtime

An employer shall pay an employee at the rate of one and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for each overtime hour of work performed by the employee for the employer during a work week.

 

Where an employee of an employer performs one or more overtime hours of work for the employer during a work week, the employer may, instead of paying the employee for that work give the employee one and one-half hours of paid time off work for each overtime hour worked, if the employee requests such compensation in writing. Such paid time off work is taken by the employee within three months of the work week in which the overtime was earned.

 

Where the employment of an employee ends before any paid time off requested has been taken by the employee, the employer shall pay the employee overtime pay of one and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for each hour worked in overtime that the employee worked and has not been compensated for. Sec 15.1 of the Employment Standard Act.

Work On Rest Days

An employer is required to provide each employee with an unpaid rest period of at least twenty-four consecutive hours in every period of seven days and, whenever possible, that rest period shall include Sunday.

 

Rest period

An employer shall provide for each employee an unpaid rest or eating period of at least 30 minutes at intervals such that as a result, no employee works longer than five consecutive hours without an unpaid rest or eating period.

 

Remaining at Place of Employment

An employer shall not require an employee to remain at the employee’s place of employment during an unpaid rest or eating period. Sec 16 – 16.1 of the Employment Standard Act.

Public Holidays

The Employment Standards Act gives employees who qualify seven holidays with pay:

      • New Year’s Day
      • Islander Day (3rd Monday in February)
      • Good Friday
      • Canada Day
      • Labour Day
      • Remembrance Day
      • Christmas Day

Every employer shall grant every employee a holiday with pay on each paid holiday falling within any period of employment. This law does not apply to an employee in respect of a paid holiday 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 work day before the paid holiday and the employee’s first scheduled work day after the paid holiday (this does not apply to an employee if the employer of the employee has directed or permitted the employee not to report for work on one or both of the employee’s scheduled work days);
        • 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.

Paid holiday on Non-Working Day

When a paid holiday falls on a day that is a non-working day for an employee, the employer shall grant the employee 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.

Pay for Working Paid Holiday

Where an employee is required to work on a paid holiday, the employer shall:

            • Pay that employee at a rate at least equal to one and one-half times the employee’s 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
            • 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.

No Reduction of Wages

              • 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.
              • An employer of an employee whose wages are calculated on a daily or hourly basis shall pay the employee for a paid holiday on which the employee does not work at least the equivalent of the wages the employer would have paid at the employee’s regular rate of wages for the employee’s normal hours of work.
              • An employer of an employee whose wages are calculated on any other basis shall pay the employee for a paid holiday on which the employee does not work at least the equivalent of the wages the employer would have paid at the employee’s regular rate of wages for the employee’s normal working day.

Sec 6 – 9 of the Employment Standard Act

Annual Leave

Where an employee works for an employer for a continuous twelve-month period, the employer shall, give the employee an unbroken vacation of at least two weeks, if the employee has less than eight years of continuous employment with the employer not later than four months after the twelve-month period ends, or if the employee has at least eight years of continuous employment with the employer, an unbroken vacation of at least three weeks.

 

The employer is required to notify the employee of the date the employee’s vacation begins at least one week before and at least one day before the employee’s vacation begins, pay the employee:

      • An amount at least equal to four percent 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 eight years of continuous employment with the employer, or
      • An amount at least equal to six percent 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 eight years of continuous employment with the employer.

Vacation Pay on Termination of Employment

Where an employee’s employment with an employer 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:

        • If employment is less than 12 consecutive months an amount equal to 4 percent of the employee’s wages;
        • If employment is at least 1 year and less than 8 years an amount equal to 4 percent of the employee’s wages; or
        • If employment is at least 8 years an amount equal to six percent of the employee’s wages.

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

 

Where an employee works for an employer 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 vacation with pay in return for the payment by giving the employer written notice of the waiver prior to the end of the twelve-month period.

 

Pay in Lieu of Vacation

An employee can give an employer notice of the employee’s wish to waive his or her entitlement to a vacation with pay the employer has to pay to the employee, not later than 1 month after the end of the twelve-month period during which the employee established the entitlement:

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

Sec 11 – 14 of Employment Standard Act

Minimum Wage

P.E.I.’s minimum wage rose to $11.55 from $11.25 on April 1, 2018, and is currently the highest in Atlantic Canada.

Work Hours

Refuse to Work on Sunday

An employee may refuse to work on any Sunday for the 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.

 

An employee who meets the requirements set out above and who was first employed by his or her employer after March 17, 2007, may only refuse to work on any Sunday that falls between December 25 of any year and the Friday before Victoria Day of the following year. Sec 16 – 16.1 of the Employment Standard Act.

Special Leave

Maternity Leave

A pregnant employee can apply for maternity leave when she has been employed in the employer’s company for a total of at least 20 weeks of the 52 weeks immediately preceding the date of commencement of pregnancy.

 

The employee is required to 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 of a period not exceeding seventeen weeks commencing at any time during the period of 13 weeks immediately preceding the estimated date of birth.

 

The employee is required to submit an application at least 4 weeks before commencement of leave specifying details of the commencement of leave and termination of the leave. In case, 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.

 

Where the pregnancy of an employee would unreasonably interfere with the performance of the employee’s duties, the employer may require the employee to commence maternity leave not more than three months prior to the estimated date of birth. 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. Sec 19-21 of Employment Standard Act.

Parental Leave

Every employee who has been in the employment of the employer for a total of at least 20 weeks of the 52 weeks immediately preceding the day on which the requested leave is to commence can apply for Parental Leave.

 

An employee who becomes the natural parent of a child, 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 of a province, and who, at least 4 weeks before the expected date of commencement of the leave, submits to the employer, an application for parental leave, specifying the date of commencement and the date of termination of the leave, is entitled to and shall be granted, parental leave without pay for a continuous period of up to 62 weeks.

 

The aggregate amount of leave that may be taken by one or two employees for in respect of the same event, shall not exceed 78 weeks. Parental leave shall be taken only during the fifty-two 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.

 

An employer may accept an employee’s return to work before the expiry of the parental leave granted provided that the employee gives the employer 2 weeks written notice of the proposed return date.

 

Parental Leave with Maternity Leave

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. Not applicable to foster parents.

 

Extended Leave

Where an employee is on leave without pay granted for any of the above leave and the child, in respect of whom the employee is granted leave, has a physical, psychological or emotional condition requiring an additional period of parental care; the employee, can submit an application to the employer for an extension of such leave; and the employee, if requested to do so, provides the employer with a certificate from a medical practitioner. Sec 22 – 22.02 of the Employment Standard Act.

Family Leave

Where an employee has been employed by an employer for a continuous period of six months or more, the employer shall, at the request of the employee, grant the employee leaves of absence without pay of up to three 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 of absence shall advise the employer of the employee’s intention to take the leave, the commencement date of the leave and the anticipated duration of the leave. Sec 22.1 of the Employment Standard Act.

Critically Ill Child Care Leave

Where an employee has been employed by an employer 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 within a 52- week period determined for the purpose of providing care and support to the critically ill child. It begins on the first day of the work week in which the certificate was issued and ends if the child dies or the leave duration ends. Sec 22.11 of Employment Standard Act

Crime Related Death or Disappearance Leave

An employer is required to provide to the employee up to 52 weeks of job protection for employees whose child disappeared as a result of a crime, or up to 104 weeks if a child died as a result of a crime. Sec 22.12 of the Employment Standard Act.

Sick Leave

Where an employee has been employed by an employer for a continuous period of at least three months, the employer shall, at the request of the employee, grant the employee leaves of absence without pay of up to three days, in total, during a twelve-calendar-month period for sick leave.

 

Where an employee has been employed by the same employer for a continuous period of at least five years, the employer shall, at the request of the employee, grant the employee one day of paid sick leave during a twelve-calendar-month period in addition to any unpaid leave that the employee is entitled. Sec 22.2 of the Employment Standard Act.

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 if the employee provides the employer, before or after taking the unpaid leave of absence, with a copy of a certificate issued by a medical practitioner stating that a family member of the employee has a serious medical condition carrying with it a significant risk of death within 26 weeks. Sec 22.3 of the Employment Standard Act.

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 one 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 of up to three consecutive days of unpaid leave, if the deceased person was a member of the extended family of the employee. Sec 23.1 of the Employment Standard Act.

Reservist Leave

An employee who –

      • Is a member of the Reserves;
      • Has been employed by the same employer in civilian employment for at least six consecutive months;
      • Has volunteered for service and, as a result, is required to be absent from work for the purpose of service;

is entitled to an unpaid period of leave for the purpose of that service after giving the employer the notice and providing the employer, if the employer so requires, reasonable verification of the necessity of the leave, including a certificate from an official with the Reserves stating that the employee is a member of the Reserves and is required for service, and if possible, the expected start and end dates for the period of service. Sec 23.1 of the Employment Standard Act.

Court Leave

An employer shall grant an employee 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 an action, application or proceeding as a witness. Sec 23.2 of the Employment Standard Act.

Last updated on: July 16th, 2019