What is vacation pay versus regular pay?

Vacation pay is remuneration for time off! The Ministry of Labour, through the Employment Standards Act, allows for 2 weeks of paid vacation per year worked. This is the legal minimum — and many employers offer their employees more than the standard 2 weeks, often to reward long service with the company.

The 2-week amount is often expressed as 4% of your regular pay. (Out of 52 weeks in the year, you work 50 and go on holiday for 2; the 2 weeks is 4% of the 50.) If you’ve worked less than a full year, the amount of paid vacation you receive is pro-rated accordingly. So, summer students, for instance, would receive vacation pay amounting to 4% of their summer earnings.

Visit this Q & A for methods on calculating vacation pay. Vacation pay is treated in the same manner as regular pay in terms of tax, EI, and CPP deductions.

Visit the Ministry of Labour website for more information on vacation pay in Ontario, or find a comparable government resource for your location.