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Employee time off to vote

Oct 03, 2011

 

It’s Election Day in Prince Edward Island.  The polls are open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.  This will allow most employees time to vote before or after their work.  However, if their work schedule begins at or before 9 a.m. and extends to 7 p.m. or later, Employers are required to provide an hour during the work day when the employee can get out to cast their ballot.  This time is at the employer’s choosing, but must be with pay.

The relevant PEI Elections Act provision is set out below.

TIME OFF FOR VOTING

81. (1) An employees, who is an elector, shall, while the poll is open on ordinary polling day, have a reasonable and sufficient time, not to be less than one hour, for the purpose of casting his or her vote.

(2) If the employment of an employee does not permit the use of one hour of his or her own time for voting, the employer shall allow the employee such additional time with pay from the hours of his or her employment as may be necessary to provide the one hour, but the additional times for voting shall be granted to the employee at the time of day that best suits the convenience of the employer.

(3) This section does not apply to an employee who is engaged in the operation and dispatch of scheduled buses, motor transports, ships and aircraft, and to whom the time mentioned in subsection (1) cannot be allowed without interfering with the scheduled operation or dispatch of buses, motor transports, ships or aircraft.

(4) An employer who refuses, or by intimidation, undue influence, or in any other way, interferes with the use by an employee of the time for voting, or fails to pay him or her as provided in this section, is guilty of an offence. 1996,c.12,s.81.

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