The reference year is a period of twelve consecutive months during which an employee progressively acquires entitlement to an annual leave.
That period extends from 1 May of the preceding year to 30 April of the current year unless an agreement or decree fixes a different starting date for that period.
1979, c. 45, s. 66.
The purpose of this section is to establish the period during which an employee acquires entitlement to an annual leave.
A date other than May 1st can be set as the starting point for the reference year by agreement (group or individual) or by order. In these cases, the parties can agree expressly or tacitly to the date marking the starting point of the reference year. It may involve, for example, the date when the employee begins working. This period must be for 12 consecutive months.
According to this diagram, the reference year is from May 1st to April 30th. It is during this year that an employee progressively acquires entitlement to the annual leave. For example, an employee who begins working on June 1, 2010 progressively acquires entitlement to the annual leave during the reference year, namely from his hiring date until April 30, 2011. The employer will have until the end of the year in which the leave is to be taken to grant the employee his leave, namely April 30, 2012 (also see the interpretation of sections 68, 70 and 115 ALS).