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It’s federal election day

Employers must remember that employees are entitled to three hours away from work to vote today. According to HRinfodesk:

Under the Canada Elections Act, all employees who have the right to vote are entitled to three consecutive hours on election day, during voting hours, to cast their votes. Where an employee’s hours of work prevent him or her from having the three consecutive voting hours required under the Act, the employer must allow the time for voting that is necessary to provide those three consecutive hours. The time off is paid and must be scheduled at the convenience of the employer. For example, if an employee usually finishes work at 5:00 p.m. and the polls close at 7:00 p.m., the employee must be allowed to leave work no later than 4:00 p.m. Where an employee has three consecutive hours that fall within the voting hours, but fall outside of his or her work hours, there is no obligation to provide time off from work. For information on voting hours in regard to time zones, visit Elections Canada – Online.

Employers who do not comply with these requirements risk severe penalties, including fines of up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment for up to three months for failing to allow employees adequate time off or for making a deduction from their wages for time off. An employer who intimidates or otherwise interferes with employees’ right to a minimum voting time is liable to a fine of up to $5,000 and/or imprisonment for up to five years.

And now we play the waiting game…

Adam Gorley
First Reference Internal Controls, Human Resources and Compliance Editor

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Adam Gorley

Adam Gorley is a copywriter, editor and researcher at First Reference. He contributes regularly to First Reference Talks, Inside Internal Controls and other First Reference publications. He writes about general HR issues, accessibility, privacy, technology in the workplace, accommodation, violence and harassment, internal controls and more. Read more
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