What employers and employees need to know about election day in Nova Scotia
Richard Jordan and Folu Adesanya
The 2021 Nova Scotia general election will be held on August 17, 2021.
With the election looming, many Nova Scotians will be wondering the same question: “Am I entitled to any time off of work in order to vote?”
The short answer: maybe.
Voting polls in Nova Scotia are open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on election day.
Section 131 of the Nova Scotia Elections Act provides that any employees eligible to vote are entitled to three consecutive hours off from work while the polls are open in order to cast their ballot on election day.
Therefore, for an employee who works from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., the employee would still have three consecutive hours off work while the polls are open in order to vote (5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.). The employer need not provide the employee with any additional time off work.
However, where an employee’s working hours do not permit three consecutive hours off work to vote while the polls are open, the employer must allow the employee such additional time with pay as necessary to provide the three consecutive hours. The Elections Act is clear, though, that when the three hours occurs is at the discretion of the employer.
For example, if an employee is scheduled to work a shift from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., the employer could choose to either (a) permit the employee to begin their work day at 11:00 a.m. (so the employee has three consecutive hours from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. to vote) or (b) leave work at 5:00 p.m. (so the employee has three consecutive hours to vote from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.).
Certain employees involved in the operation and dispatch of trains, buses, motor transport, ships or aircrafts are exempt from the requirement to have three consecutive hours off work in order to vote, if taking the three consecutive hours would interfere with the scheduled operation of those services.
An employer who refuses, or by intimidation, undue influence, or in any other way interferes with the use by an employee of the three consecutive hours for voting, or fails to pay the employee, is guilty of an offence under the Elections Act.
This update is intended for general information only. If you have questions about the above, please contact a member of our Labour and Employment group.
Click here to subscribe to Stewart McKelvey Thought Leadership.
By Kimberly Bungay On April 1, 2023, the Nova Scotia government will proclaim into force Bill 226, which amends the Companies Act (the “Act”) to require companies formed under the Act to create and maintain…Read More
Abuse of sick leave / failure of employee to participate in accommodation process: Vail v. Oromocto (Town), 2022 CanLII 129486
By Chad Sullivan and Kathleen Starke Background A recent decision, Vail v. Oromocto (Town), 2022 CanLII 129486, involved several grievances including an unjust dismissal claim by a firefighter as well as a grievance filed by…Read More
By Stuart Wallace and Kim Walsh On January 1, 2022, the Underused Housing Tax Act (the Act) took effect. The Underused Housing Tax (the UHT) is an annual 1% tax on the value of vacant or…Read More
Parlez-Vous Francais? Recent amendments to Quebec’s Charter of the French Language may impact Atlantic Canadian businesses
By: David F. Slipp and Levi Parsche In May 2022, Bill 96 was adopted by Quebec’s National Assembly, significantly amending the Charter of the French Language (the “Charter“). The amendments create new requirements for using…Read More
The Winds of Change (Part 7): Paying the Piper: New Newfoundland and Labrador Fiscal Framework expects billions in revenues from wind to hydrogen projects
By Dave Randell, G. John Samms, and Stuart Wallace With the deadline for bids on crown lands available for wind energy projects extended to noon on March 23rd, the latest development in our Winds of…Read More
By Kevin Landry and Colton Smith The Retail Payment Activities Regulations have been released in the Canada Gazette Part 1 for comment. Interested persons may make representations concerning the proposed regulations for a period of 45…Read More
By Andrew Burke, Colleen Keyes, Gavin Stuttard and David Slipp With proxy season once again approaching, many public companies are in the midst of preparing their annual disclosure documents and shareholder materials for their annual…Read More
By Brittany Trafford and Sean Corscadden In response to the nationwide labour shortage, the Federal government is allowing select family members of foreign workers to apply for open work permits. This temporary policy came into…Read More
Mark Tector and Ben Currie Effective January 1, 2023, amendments to Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) took effect, excluding “business consultants” and “information technology consultants” from the application of the ESA. This is a…Read More
By Perlene Morrison, K.C. and Curtis Doyle Once again, the time has come to review the year that was and to chart the course for the year ahead. For municipalities and planning professionals in Prince…Read More