Time Off to Vote – What Employers and Employees Need to Know on Election Day


With the upcoming Federal Election on October 21, 2019, it is important that both employers and employees are aware of their obligations and entitlements with respect to Election Day. 

Employees are entitled to three consecutive hours to vote on Election Day

In Ontario, the voting hours on Election Day are 9:30 am to 9:30 pm. 

If an employee begins work at 12:30 pm or ends work by 6:30 pm on Election Day, they are not entitled to take time off work to vote because they have three consecutive hours available before or after work to vote. 

However, if an employee’s work hours do not allow for three consecutive hours during voting hours on Election Day, employers are obligated to allow employees three consecutive hours off work to vote. The time that the employer allows employees to take off work to vote is at the convenience of the employer. 

Employers cannot deduct from employees’ payment of wages for time taken to vote

An employer cannot make a deduction from an employee’s pay or impose a penalty on the employee for their time taken to vote on Election Day. 

Employers are prohibited from interfering in the granting of the three hours to vote 

In addition, employers must not intimidate, unduly influence, or interfere in granting their employees the three consecutive hours to vote on Election Day.

Limitations may apply to individuals employed to transport goods and passengers

The same entitlements do not apply to those employed outside of their polling station by a company transporting goods or passengers by land, air, or water. If the time granted to allow such employees to vote would interfere with their transportation services, their employers are not legally obligated to provide these three consecutive hours. 

If you have any questions about these obligations and entitlements, please contact us.  We’d be pleased to assist.

[[{“fid”:”136″,”view_mode”:”default”,”fields”:{“format”:”default”,”field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]”:”Brent Craswell, Kelly Santini LLP”,”field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]”:”Brent Craswell, Kelly Santini LLP”},”type”:”media”,”field_deltas”:{“1”:{“format”:”default”,”field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]”:”Brent Craswell, Kelly Santini LLP”,”field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]”:”Brent Craswell, Kelly Santini LLP”}},”attributes”:{“alt”:”Brent Craswell, Kelly Santini LLP”,”title”:”Brent Craswell, Kelly Santini LLP”,”style”:”height: 133px; width: 200px;”,”class”:”media-element file-default”,”data-delta”:”1″}}]]  
Brent Craswell Sarah Reich, Articling Student