Citizenship ceremony leave

Eligible employees can take up to a half-day of unpaid leave for a citizenship ceremony. These standards come into effect January 1, 2018.

The legislation on this page comes into effect on January 1, 2018

For information on Employment Standards legislation that is in force until December 31, 2017, go to http://work.alberta.ca/employment-standards.html

Basic rules

  • Employees are eligible for citizenship ceremony leave if they have been employed at least 90 days with the same employer.
  • A citizenship ceremony is when a certificate of citizenship is received, as provided for under the Citizenship Act (Canada) and regulations made under that Act.
  • Eligible employees can take time off work without risk of losing their job.
  • Employers must grant citizenship ceremony leave to eligible employees and give them their same, or equivalent, job back when the employee returns to work.
  • Employers aren’t required to pay wages or benefits during leave, unless stated in an employment contract or collective agreement.
  • Employees on citizenship ceremony leave are considered to be continuously employed for the purposes of calculating years of service.

Employee eligibility

Employees are eligible for citizenship ceremony leave if they have been employed at least 90 days with the same employer.

Employees are only eligible for this leave once, upon acquiring Canadian citizenship.

Employees with less than 90 days of employment may still be granted leave. However, their employers aren’t required under employment standards legislation to grant them leave.

Length of leave

An employee can take up to a half-day of citizenship ceremony leave.  Any leave days not used by an employee cannot be carried over into a new calendar year.

Giving notice

An employee must give an employer notice as soon as is reasonable and practicable in the circumstances.

Termination of employment

An employer may not terminate the employment or lay off an employee for requesting or while on citizenship ceremony leave. Any leave days not used by an employee do not have to be paid out by the employer if employment terminates.

An employee who feels they have been improperly terminated can file an Employment Standards Complaint.

How the law applies

Part 2, Division 7.6 of the Employment Standards Code (Code) sets out the rules for leave for citizenship ceremony. The legislation entitles eligible employees to a period of leave without pay, at the end of which they must be reinstated in their same, or an equivalent, job.

Disclaimer: In the event of any discrepancy between this information and Alberta Employment Standards legislation, the legislation is considered correct.