Are employers obligated to give employees time off to vote in the general local elections this Saturday, November 15?
The short answer is no. Unlike in provincial and federal elections, there is no statutory obligation under the Local Government Act on employers to provide employees with time off from work to vote in local government or municipal elections. The polls for these elections are open from 8am-8pm, and employees may vote in advance polls or even by mail ballot if they have conflicting commitments on the general voting day.
Although there is no legal obligation to provide time off, we recommend that employers encourage employees to vote by scheduling shifts, if possible, so employees have sufficient hours available to vote between 8am-8pm, and by sending a reminder to employees to take advantage of the advance polls or alternative voting options if they may have difficulty finding time to vote on November 15.