paperwork image by Pix by Marti from

How to Calculate Vacation Pay in B.C.

Growth Trends for Related Jobs

In British Columbia and other Canadian provinces and territories, employees earn a bonus in addition to their hourly wage called vacation pay. The employer or payroll administrator calculates vacation pay as a percentage of the regular wage, and it is paid just before a booked vacation period or in each paycheck. Vacation pay calculations are based on gross income, before mandatory deductions such as employment insurance and income tax.

Determine Eligibility

paperwork image by Pix by Marti from

Calculate calendar days worked. In British Columbia, employees must work at least five calendar days to qualify for annual vacation pay. Employees employed more than five days earn vacation pay retroactive to the first day of work.

labour 05 image by thierry planche from

Determine if your job falls under the Employment Standards Act. Farm workers who earn piece-rate instead of an hourly wage still qualify, but should contact the B.C. Ministry of Labour if they suspect their vacation pay is not included in the piece-rate wage.

sales manager checking the sales image by Peter Baxter from

Calculate on top of wage and commission in sales positions. Commission sales jobs are eligible for vacation pay. Vacation pay is calculated on any base rate plus commissions. Commission paid during a vacation period does not substitute for vacation pay.

Set Up Vacation Pay

calculation image by Alexey Klementiev from

Understand the employer's responsibility. B.C. employers are required to pay at least 4 percent in vacation pay under the Employment Standards Act.

Choose a payment schedule. Employees may receive vacation pay on each paycheck or in a lump sum payable at least seven days before a scheduled vacation period.

Document the schedule. If the employer and employee both agree to distribute the vacation pay on each paycheck, this agreement must be documented in writing and signed by the employee.

Video of the Day

Brought to you by Sapling
Brought to you by Sapling

Give an increase after five years. Employers are required to increase the rate of vacation pay to 6 percent after five years of employment.

Redeem Vacation Pay

vacation image by Vladislav Gajic from

Request vacation pay at least one pay period ahead of time to receive it at least seven days before a booked vacation.

check and pen in close up image by Alexey Klementiev from

Check each paycheck to ensure the employer calculated the proper amount of vacation pay. Many companies use software for payroll; however, it is a good idea to double check vacation pay and deductions to ensure their accuracy.

Ensure accumulated vacation pay is paid upon termination. An employer cannot withhold vacation pay on termination of employment. According to the Employment Standards Act, all vacation pay is due with the final paycheck.


Contact an accountant to understand how vacation pay affects total annual income and taxes.

About the Author

Grace Alexander has been a full time freelance writer for 2 years, creating, editing and proofreading content for web and print publications through She also serves as an editor, channel steward, title seeder and fact checker at Home Improvement is one of her writing niches.

Cite this Article