Provincial elections and work hours, what are my rights?
30 September 2022
On October 3rd, provincial elections will be held in Québec. On that day, the Election Act provides for certain provisions to allow all workers registered on the list of electors to vote.
Here is a summary.
First of all, all employers must grant at least 4 consecutive hours to workers to allow them to vote, without any reduction in salary or other penalty.
This four-hour period must be provided on election day, between 9:30 AM. and 8:00 PM and does not include the time normally provided for meals.
The employer is entitled to modify the regular work schedule to allow the worker to vote. For example, if you normally work from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM, your employer could ask you to start later, for example at 1:30 PM, and still finish at the usual time. Or they could ask you to start at the scheduled time but release you at 4:00 PM, so you can get to the polls.
In addition, anyone who works full or part-time is entitled to this four-hour voting period.
It is important to note that the leave is not systematic and must be requested from the employer beforehand. Moreover, if you only work a few hours on that day and you already have a period of four consecutive hours to vote, your employer does not have to grant you additional leave.