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Time Off For Employees to Vote October 24, 2020

A provincial election will be held Saturday, October 24, 2020. Pursuant to the sectoral collective agreements between CSSEA and the Community Social Services Bargaining Association and the Election Act, employees are entitled to a minimum number of hours off without loss of pay during voting hours. Polls will be open 8 am to 8 pm on Election Day.

Employees Covered by Collective Agreements

According to Article 20.5 (Elections) in the collective agreements:

Any employee eligible to vote in a federal, provincial, municipal, First Nation or other Indigenous election or a referendum shall have four consecutive clear hours during the hours in which the polls are open in which to cast their ballot.

Employers are not obligated to grant each employee four hours off work to vote where unnecessary. Rather, employers must provide sufficient time away from work to make up a four hour block of time during the period that the polls are open.

For example, if an employee is scheduled to work from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm, the employee could:

  • Start work at 12:00 noon, thus having the four consecutive hours from 8:00 am to 12:00 noon in which to vote; or
  • Finish work at 4:00 pm, thus having the four consecutive hours from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm in which to vote.

An employee who requires time off to vote is not permitted to choose the best time to leave work; they must take the time off at the convenience of the employer.

Mail-in and advance voting opportunities are also available for staff, and the same rules apply for advance voting. For more information, please see:
https://elections.bc.ca/voting/voting-safely-and-covid-19/

Employees Not Covered by Collective Agreements

Employees not covered by the collective agreements are subject to the Election Act, which also entitles them to four consecutive hours free from work during the hours polls are open and are governed by the same principles as above.

More detailed information on voting is available on the Elections BC website:
https://elections.bc.ca/voting/voting-accessibility/time-off-work-for-voting/

and in the Election Act:
https://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/96106_06

If you have any questions, please contact your HRLR Consultant or Advocate.

Communications Contact

Doris Sun
Director of Communications
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604.319.5010
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