Time off to vote in Election

Under the Canada Election Act everyone in Canada has  the right to 3 consecutive hours to vote. The following letter was sent to the Company  to remind them of your rights with a request to post it on the bulletin boards. Please make every attempt to vote, preferably for the New Democratic Party. The USW  had a part in starting the NDP and completely supports them. The NDP is the only party that will protect and preserve working peoples rights in Canada.

Three Consecutive Hours to Vote

All employees who are Canadian citizens, 18 years of age or older, are entitled to have three (3) consecutive hours while polls are open on election day during which to vote. Since the law does not require that employees must request time off to vote, employers are encouraged to proactively address their employees’ right to vote for November 7, 2011 .

The polls are open from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Time off with pay must be provided to the extent necessary to allow three (3) consecutive hours for voting. The Canada Elections Act prohibits an employer from deducting or reducing pay or imposing any penalty for time off to vote as required by the Act.

Paid Time Off Not Required

An employer is not required to provide paid time off if an employee has three (3) consecutive hours free from work within voting hours. For example, in Saskatchewan, an employee who completes work at 4:30 p.m. will have three (3) consecutive hours for voting and therefore is not entitled to time off. If, however, an employee works from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., that employee would be entitled to paid time off to vote (at the employer’s convenience). In this example, to ensure minimal disruption to the employee’s regular work day while at the same time complying with the law, the employer could allow the employee to leave work a half hour early, at 4:30 p.m.

It is also important to note that the Canada Elections Act does not require an employer to make allowance for the employee’s “travel time” to vote.