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Guide Interpretation

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Part I - Act respecting labour standards

CHAPTER IV - Labour standards

Annual leave with pay (section 66 to 77)

Sections
66
67
68
68.1
69
70
71
71.1
72
73
74
74.1
75
76
77

Section 70

Annual leave

The annual leave must be taken within twelve months following the end of the reference year, except where a collective agreement or a decree allows it to be deferred until the following year.

Exception

Notwithstanding the first paragraph, the employer may, at the request of the employee, allow the annual leave to be taken, in whole or in part, during the reference year.

Deferment or indemnity

In addition, if at the end of the twelve months following the end of a reference year, the employee is absent for any of the reasons set out in section 79.1 or is absent or on leave for family or parental matters, the employer may, at the request of the employee, defer the annual leave to the following year. If the annual leave is not so deferred, the employer must pay the indemnity for the annual leave to which the employee is entitled.

Similarly, if the employee is a reservist of the Canadian Forces and at the end of the 12 months following the end of a reference year, the employee is absent for one of the reasons set out in section 81.17.1 the employer may either defer the annual leave until the following year or pay the indemnity for that leave.

Insurance period continued

Notwithstanding any contrary clause of a collective agreement, decree or contract, any period of salary insurance, sickness insurance or disability insurance interrupted by a leave taken in accordance with the first paragraph is continued, where applicable, after the leave, as if it had never been interrupted.

1979, c. 45, s. 70; 1980, c. 5, s. 4; 2002, c. 80, s. 22; 2007, c. 36, s. 2; 2010, c. 38, s. 4.

Interpretation

The annual leave must be taken in the year that follows the end of the reference year.

Taking the annual leave early

Since May 1, 2003, at the employee’s request, the taking of the annual leave during the reference year is now expressly permitted. This is the only case of taking a leave in advance authorized and permitted under the Act. However, the employer may choose whether or not to consent thereto. Moreover, it is not necessary that the entire annual leave be taken in advance. When the leave is not taken in full, the balance will have to be granted during the subsequent reference year.

Postponement of the annual leave to the next year

It is possible to postpone an annual leave to the following year when the employee is absent owing to sickness, organ or tissue donation for transplant, accident, or a criminal offence, or for family or parental reasons at the end of the twelve months that follow the end of the reference year and when, as a result, he was unable to take his annual leave during that year. Such a postponement is made at the employee’s request, with the employer’s consent. If the leave is not postponed, the employer must immediately pay the indemnity related to the annual leave to which the employee is entitled. It is also possible to postpone an annual leave to the following year when the employee is absent due to the fact that he is a Canadian Forces reservist. A reservist, as defined by the National Defence Act (R.S., 1985, c. N-5, sections 1 and 15 3)), is part of the reserve force that consists of "officers and non-commissioned members who are enrolled for other than continuing, full-time military service when not on active service."This provision allows a reservist to be absent without pay to participate in annual training and various operations of the Canadian Forces abroad and in certain cases in Canada. If the leave is not postponed, the employer must immediately pay the indemnity in lieu of the annual leave to which the employee is entitled. The fourth paragraph of section 70 stipulates that a period of salary insurance, sickness insurance or disability insurance interrupted by the taking of the annual leave is continued, where applicable, after this leave, under the same conditions as before this leave. Paragraph 4 of section 70 stipulates that a period of salary insurance, sickness insurance or disability insurance interrupted by the taking of the annual leave is continued, where applicable, after this leave, under the same conditions as before the leave.

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