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How to manage summer vacation demand

Employment lawyer Deborah Hudson discusses employers' legal rights and obligations for scheduling vacation leave.

Video transcript below:

Caitlin Nobes, HRM TV
Caitlin Nobes:  Summer can be dark days for HR trying to juggle vacation requests, but employers may have more rights than they think.  Hi, I’m Caitlin Nobes and you’re watching HRM TV.
Summer is a time for early finishes and long weekends, but it’s also when HR face their biggest challenges juggling vacation requests.  Whether you are trying to please everyone or struggling to cover shifts, the first step is knowing your legal rights in scheduling vacation time.

Deborah Hudson, Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti
Deborah Hudson:  An employer’s basic obligations are governed by the statutory minimum requirements.  So for example, in Ontario the statutory minimums is governed by the Employment Standards Act and there is two aspects of vacation minimum, the first aspect is vacation time and in Ontario under the ESA vacation time entitlement is 2 weeks. In Ontario under the ESA vacation has to be taken in one week blocks unless the employee agrees to have it in single days.

Caitlin Nobes:  Employers have the right to decide when to schedule employees’ vacation and can require workers to take vacation at specific times which can be necessary if your workplace closes over a certain period.  However, taking a strict stance could prove unpopular. 

Deborah Hudson:  It’s best practice to have a vacation scheduling policy where employees can apply for vacation and then employers can approve vacation.

Caitlin Nobes:  For more on scheduling vacation time, visit HRM Online‘s legal section.  I am Caitlin Nobes and I will see you next time on HRM TV.

See also:

Summer headaches: how to manage vacation time
Lose-lose: unused vacation days cost everyone
Half your staff don't know company policies