Municipal elections are fast approaching in Ontario. Voting hours are normally 10:00am to 8:00pm. Under the Ontario Municipal Elections Act, employers are required to provide employees with sufficient time off work so they have 3 consecutive hours to vote on election day.

This does not, however, mean that employees must be given three hours off during their workday. Instead, if, for example, an employee’s work day ends at 6:00pm, employers can allow employees to leave one hour early, providing employees with a 3 hour block from 5:00pm-8:00pm to vote.

Under the Municipal Elections Act, employers have the right to decide what hours would be most convenient for its various employees to be absent from work in order to vote. However, employers are expressly prohibited from making a deduction from employees’ pay or impose any other penalty on employees for their absence from work in order to vote.