Fact Sheet

A Quick Guide to Employment Standards

The Employment Standards Code provides employers and employees with information regarding minimum wage standards, protection for young workers, paying wages and more.

What is Employment Standards?

Employment Standards is a government program under Manitoba Finance. It administers laws on minimum wages, hours of work, holidays and other workplace entitlements and responsibilities. The program enforces The Employment Standards Code, The Construction Industry Wages Act, The Remembrance Day Act, The Worker Recruitment and Protection Act. It also investigates complaints about violations of these laws.

Who is covered by the Employment Standards laws in Manitoba?

Most employees in Manitoba fall under provincial jurisdiction. Some employees work in industries regulated by the federal government. These employees must contact Canada Labour Program if they have concerns about how their wages have been paid.

Independent contractors are not employees and are not covered by employment standards legislation.

Other employees, such as some agricultural workers, construction workers, professionals, part-time domestic workers, landscape workers and, election workers are entitled to some employment standards but not all.

Are self-employed persons/independent contractors covered by The Employment Standards Code?

No. Self-employed persons/independent contractors are not covered by The Employment Standards Code, but this type of employment relationship can be complicated.  The nature of the relationship between both parties would determine whether someone is truly an independent contractor.  Several details need to be considered, such as:

  • Who controls duties and schedules
  • The ability to negotiate payment
  • The method of payments 

Individuals who are owed wages and feels they may be an employee, can file a claim with Employment Standards.  An officer will make a determination if the person is an independent contractor or an employee for the purposes of The Employment Standards Code.   

Are people employed in agriculture covered by Employment Standards legislation?

Many employees working in agriculture are covered by Employment Standards legislation, but there are still some exceptions. Employees working on a farm owned by a family member are excluded from most standards. Other employees working in agriculture are covered by some or all standards. See the Agriculture fact sheet for more information.

Minimum Standards

What is the minimum wage?

Minimum wage is $15.30 per hour effective October 1, 2023. 

Can employers provide more than what the legislation sets as minimum standards?

Yes. The legislation sets only the minimum workplace standards that must be met. Many employers provide more benefits, or pay higher wages.

Can a contract offer benefits that are lower than the Employment Standards?

No. Employees cannot agree to work for less than the minimum standards, whether or not a contract exists. There are some provisions that allow employers and employees to agree to different terms, but they can never agree to less than the minimum standards.

Are the standards different for part-time employees?

No. All employees are covered by The Employment Standards Code regardless of the number of hours they work. However, because certain wages (such as vacation pay and general holiday pay) are based on a percentage of total earnings, the wages paid to employees will be affected by the number of hours they work.

Young Workers

Do young people have the same rights as other employees?

Yes. Young people have the same rights and the obligations as other employees. They are entitled to vacation pay, overtime, minimum wage, general holiday pay, and all other rights under The Employment Standards Code. The Employment Standards website at www.manitoba.ca/labour/standards has information on employee and employer rights and responsibilities.

At what age can young people start working?

All young people 13, 14 or 15 years of age must complete the Young Worker Readiness Certificate Course, and obtain a Certificate of Completion that is signed by their parent/guardian before they can work.

Are there any restrictions on where young people 13, 14, or 15 years of age can work?

 Yes, young people 13, 14, or 15 years of age cannot work:

  • On a construction site;
  • In industrial or manufacturing processes;
  • Drilling or servicing rigs;
  • On scaffolds or swing stages;
  • Pruning, repairing, maintaining, or removing trees or shrubs; 
  • At heights more than 1.5 meters;
  • With herbicides or pesticides; or
  • Without direct adult supervision.


How many hours per week are young people allowed to work?

During a school week, young people 13, 14, or 15 years of age can work up to 20 hours per week.  During school breaks, young people can work as much as any other employee.

What additional restrictions apply to young people who are 13 years old?

Young people who are 13 years of age cannot prepare food if they need to use dangerous tools or machinery such as deep fryers, slicers, grills, or knives.  They can still work in food preparation areas doing tasks like washing dishes, mixing salads, or filling drink orders.

What if the young person's job changes?

The Certificate of Completion is valid until the worker turns 16 years of age.  Young people can keep copies of the certificate to give to new employers.  You do not need to redo the course just because you change employers.

Can young people work alone?

No, young people 13, 14, or 15 years of age are not allowed to work alone and must be directly supervised by an adult who is in the workplace.  Young people under 18 years of age cannot work alone between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

Paying Wages and Keeping Records

When must employees be paid?

Employees must be paid at least twice a month, within 10 working days of the end of a pay period.  If the employment is terminated, employees must be paid within 10 working days from the date of termination.

Do employers need to provide pay statements when they pay wages?

Employers must give employees written pay statements when they are paid, unless the wage payments will be the same over a period of time and the employer provides a statement showing wages to be paid, wage rate, deductions, and net amount on each of the dates.Pay statements are sometimes referred to as pay stubs.

Can employers provide an electronic pay statement?

Yes. The Employment Standards Code requires the employer to provide a written statement, which may include an electronic pay statement.

What must a pay statement show?

Pay statements must show:

  • The regular wage and the number of regular hours worked in the pay period
  • The overtime wage and any overtime hours worked in the pay period
  • All deductions from wages, with a date and reason for each deduction
  • The total amount of wages paid to the employee

Who must keep records?

Employers must keep records of their employees, the hours they work, and the wages paid.  It is strongly suggested employees also keep records of the hours they work and what they have been paid.

What records are employers required to maintain?

Employers must keep records for all employees that show:

  • Name, address, date of birth, and occupation
  • The date the employment started
  • The regular wage and overtime wage at the start of employment and whenever the wage rate changes
  • The regular and overtime hours of work, recorded separately and daily
  • Date wages are paid and the amount paid on each date
  • Deductions from wages, and the reason for each deduction
  • If applicable, overtime that is banked with the written agreement of the employee and employer and the dates the employee takes the banked time off with pay
  • The dates on which general holidays are taken
  • The employee’s hours of work on a general holiday and the wages paid
  • Start and end dates of annual vacations, the period of employment in which the vacation is earned, and the date and amount of vacation wages paid
  • The amount of any outstanding vacation wages when the employment ends and the date this is paid to the employee
  • Copies of documents on maternity leave, parental leave, compassionate care leave or other leaves, including dates and number of days taken as leave
  • Dates of termination of the employment
  • Copies of work schedules 

If an employee is paid a monthly or annual salary, it can be divided into an hourly wage for record keeping purposes.  Regular hours of work are not required to be recorded if they do not vary on a daily basis, but any overtime or other changes should be recorded.

Are employees entitled to minimum wage for all hours worked?

Employees are entitled to at least minimum wage in each pay period and cannot agree to work for less.  The hourly wage for employees must be calculated in every pay period to ensure it is at least minimum wage. The Minimum Wage page has more information. 

How much are employees paid for reporting to work?

When an employer decides to cancel shifts or to send employees home early, those scheduled to work more than 3 hours, and

  • Work less than 3 hours, must be paid for at least 3 hours
  • Work more than 3 hours, must be paid for all hours worked                                                                                                 

If employees are scheduled to work less than 3 hours, they must be paid for their entire scheduled shift.

The following table explains what an employee is entitled to be paid if the employer cancels or cuts the shift short. When employees are notified of the change in schedule before reporting to work, they are not entitled to reporting pay. 

Scheduled to work

Actually worked

Must be paid for

3 hours or more

Less than 3 hours

3 hours

Example: 4 hours

Half an hour

3 hours




Scheduled to work

Actually worked

Must be paid for

Less than 3 hours

Less than scheduled hours

Entire scheduled shift

Example 2.5 hours

Half an hour

2.5 hours


Deductions from Wages

What can be deducted from employees' wages?


The general rule is employers can only make deductions from wages when these are:

  • Required by law (i.e. statutory deductions)
  • For something for which employees agree to pay and is of a direct benefit to them, or
  • To compensate for any cash advances or payroll errors. 

Examples of what can be deducted from employees’ wages include:

  • Pay Advances
    • Employees and employers should agree on how and when to repay the money when the advance is given, such as paying in regular instalments or in one lump sum.  However, no interest, service charges, or any other fees related to the advance may be deducted.
    • If employers and the employees cannot agree on how and when the cash advance will be paid back, employers can deduct the amounts equal to what would be allowed if they had a garnishment under The Garnishment Act.
  • Payroll Error Corrections
    • Employers can correct any payroll errors as soon the employee or employer notices them.  Employees and employers should agree on how and when to make the correction, such as paying in regular instalments or in one lump sum. 
    • If employers and the employees cannot agree on how and when the payroll error will be corrected, employers can deduct the amounts equal to what would be allowed if they had a garnishment under The Garnishment Act.
  • Cost of Tools
    • Employers can only deduct the amount agreed to by employees and only if: a) the tools remain the property of employees; b) are not unique to the particular employer; c) are available for purchase from different suppliers; d) can reasonably be expected to be used at different employers in the same occupation; e) are voluntarily bought from the employer instead of another supplier.  
    •  If the employer and employee cannot agree on how and when the employee will reimburse the employer for the cost of the tools, the employer can deduct the amounts equal to what would be allowed if they had a garnishment under The Garnishment Act.
    • Employers cannot deduct the cost for tools that are required by law. 
  • Photo Radar Tickets or Red Light Camera Tickets
    • Employers may deduct the minimum amount payable if employees give written consent to do so.  
  • Cost of Courses and Training
    • Only sometimes.  Employers cannot charge an employee for a course that has no value to them outside of the workplace.  This includes most mandatory employer-specific courses.  Employers may deduct the cost for all or part of a course or training that directly benefits their employees if they voluntarily attend and agree to pay. 
  • Cost of Room and Board
    • With employees’ consent, employers can charge for room and board if employees have no other practical options for obtaining meals and lodging.  The amount employers are allowed to deduct cannot reduce employees’ earnings below minimum wage for the pay period by more than $7 per week for the room and by more than $1 for each meal.

What types of things cannot be deducted from employees’ wages?

Employers cannot charge interest or fees for cashing cheques or providing payroll advances.  Employers cannot recover business expenses from the wages of employees. 

Unauthorized deductions include:

  • Fees to cash cheques
  • Cost of damage to company property and vehicles (i.e. insurance deductible, parking tickets, or other violations, with the exception of photo radar ticket or a red light camera tickets)
  • Cost of lost, stolen or broken tools, equipment, products, or faulty service
  • Cost of cash or inventory shortages, dine & dashes, or drive offs
  • Cost of personal safety equipment
    • Safety equipment is an employer’s responsibility.  There are exceptions for safety headwear and some safety footwear.  Contact The Workplace Safety and Health Branch at 204-945-3446 or visit their website safemanitoba.com for more information.
  • Cost of a uniform

What is a direct benefit to employees?

Examples of deductions that directly benefit employees include: 

  • Health or insurance packages
  • Voluntary purchases of goods or services from the employer
  • Some types of educational expense
  • Meals and rent 

The cost for room and meals can be deducted if employees have no other practical options for obtaining meals and lodging. These deductions cannot take employees below minimum wage in a pay period by more than $1 for each meal and $7 per week for the room. 

Employees must agree to the deduction.  This often happens at the start of employment.  For example, an employer will have a mandatory health insurance package.  If the employee was aware of the health insurance package before they began to work for the employer, and chose to accept the job, Employment Standards would determine the employee agreed to the deduction. 

Can employers deduct the costs of a uniform, or require employees to buy uniforms?

No. Uniforms are a direct benefit to employers. Employers cannot make employees buy uniforms.

What is considered a uniform?

Employers can require employees to wear a uniform, however, they cannot make employees pay for it.  Uniforms are usually clothing that is unique to a business, identified with the employer’s logo, symbol, name, or colours, making it of no practical use outside of that workplace. Employees often have no choice in style, colour, or where to buy it.

Can employers have a dress code?

Yes.  Employers can have a dress code and set standards for employees’ appearance while they are working.  This may include telling employees to remove jewellery while working, or requiring all serving staff to wear a clean, pressed white shirt and black pants at work.                                                             

If the dress code requires clothing that would be of no practical use to employees out of the workplace, it is considered a uniform and not a dress code.  A dress code would allow the employees to wear their own clothes to work. A common example of a dress code is the loose fitting clothing that identifies nurses in the workplace.  Employers can require this attire and do not have to provide or pay for it unless they require a logo or emblem that identifies the company. 

Who pays for damages to company vehicles, valuable equipment or other losses?

Employers may not deduct wages to cover any costs for faulty work, poor quality work, loss of customers, cash shortages, or damages to their property. This includes: the cost of car accidents and parking tickets involving company vehicles, dishes broken by employees, customers leaving without paying.  See the Deductions fact sheet for more information. 

Employers have the right to take action against an employee who caused the damages in civil court. If a court issues an order of repayment, the employer can then garnish the wages of the employee.

Hours of Work and Scheduling

What are the standard hours of work?

Standard hours of work are 40 hours a week and 8 hours a day.  Employees are entitled to their regular wage rate for work during these hours.  If employees work more than the standard hours in a week or in a day, this is overtime and must be paid at the overtime rate. 

Who controls scheduling?

Employers control schedules. They make or approve work schedules that suit their business needs and can change work schedules at any time.  Sometimes employers involve employees in decisions about scheduling, but are not required to do so.

Do employers need to provide transportation to or from work?

If an employer's place of business and an employee's residence are located within the boundaries of the same city or town, the employer must provide the employee with adequate transportation between the residence and the workplace when the employee's shift begins or ends after 12 midnight and before 6:00 a.m.

Who decides when overtime will be worked?

Employees cannot work overtime without the knowledge or permission of their employers. Employees must be paid at 1½ times their regular wage rate if employers ask, allow, or acknowledge the overtime.

Employees and employers can agree, as part of the terms of employment, that a certain amount of overtime is required.   Overtime is voluntary or by agreement, except in declared emergencies.

When are employees entitled to breaks?

Employees are entitled to a 30 minute unpaid break after every five hours of work.

Employees are also entitled to at least one day of rest per week.

For more information on breaks and a day of rest see the Hours of Work and Breaks page

Are employees entitled to a day off?

Yes. Most employees are entitled to have at least one day of rest (24 hours) each week.

Can employers change employees' schedules?

Yes. Employers make schedules that suit their businesses and can change work schedules at any time. This includes deciding to close on a certain day, or to reduce or increase the number of hours they are open each week.                            

Employers can also change employees’ schedules after a shift has started.  If employees are scheduled for 3 hours or more and the employer ends the shift early, wages must be paid for 3 hours or for the time worked, whichever is greater.  See the Wages for Reporting for Work fact sheet for more information.

Can employees change schedules?

Employers control work schedules, but some employers allow employees to switch shifts with co-workers or to change schedules.

Do employers need to pay overtime that occurs when employees change the schedule?

If employees work overtime, they must be paid overtime wages. Employers who allow employees to change the schedule or switch shifts cannot refuse to pay for overtime that occurs as a result.  Employers should know the weekly and daily hours employees are working.

Can employers change schedules even after shifts have started?

Employers can end employees' shifts early or start additional ones if they are within standard hours of work. If employees are scheduled for 3 hours or more and the employer ends the shift early, wages must be paid for 3 hours or for the time worked, whichever is greater.  Overtime is voluntary or by agreement.  More information can be found on the Wages for Reporting for Work and Overtime pages.


What is the overtime wage rate?

Employees are paid 1 ½ times their regular hourly wage for each hour (or part of an hour) worked during overtime.

How are overtime hours determined?

Overtime is determined by the number of hours employees work in a day and in a week. Any hours worked over 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a week are overtime.

Below are some examples of how to calculate overtime. Days where overtime hours are worked are shown in bold: 

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat   Total Regular Overtime
  8 8 8 8 8 8 48 40 8
  8 6 6 8 10   38 36 2
  10 6 10 6 10   42 36 6
7 6 8 7 7 8   43 40 3


Can employees bank overtime and take time off later?

Yes. Employers and employees can agree in writing to bank overtime. The agreement must follow these rules:

  • For each hour of overtime worked, 1 ½ hours of time is banked, which is paid at the regular wage rate when the employee takes the time-off;
  • Employers must schedule time-off during the employee’s regular hours;
  • Employers must provide the time-off within three months of it being earned, unless Employment Standards authorizes a longer period.

Do salaried employees receive overtime?

Yes. Employees who are paid by salary are entitled to overtime. An hourly wage can be calculated to determine the overtime pay per hour.

For example: an employee who earns a salary of $800 per week and is expected to work a 40-hour week is paid $20.00 per hour. Overtime is paid at 1 ½ times the regular wage rate. Using this example, the employee would earn $30.00 per hour for overtime.

To calculate an employee’s hourly wage:
    Salary earned per week ÷ Total Hours = Hourly Wage   $800 ÷ 40 = $20.00 / hour
To calculate the overtime rate:
    Hourly Wage ×1.5 = Overtime   $20.00 × 1.5 = $30.00 ⁄ Hour of overtime


Can a salary include some overtime?

Yes. Employers and employees can agree on a salary that includes a specific amount of overtime. Agreements should be made before any overtime is worked and must clearly identify wages for working more than the standard hours. Clearly written agreements can save future disagreements.

For example: An employee earns a salary of $700 per week and is expected to work a 50-hour week. This agreement means the employee is working 40 regular hours and 10 hours of overtime each week as part of the salary. To calculate an hourly wage rate for the salary, the overtime hours are first converted to standard (regular) hours by multiplying them by 1 ½.

In this example
10 overtime hours × 1.5 = 15 regular hours

These are then added to the regular hours:
40 regular hours + 15 regular hours = 55 regular hours

The hourly wage an employee should be paid for regular hours worked is then calculated by dividing the salary by the total number of regular hours:
$700 salary ÷ 55 regular hours worked = $12.73/hour

For the overtime hours worked, the employee must be paid at 1 ½ times this hourly wage:
$12.73/hour × 1.5 = $19.10 overtime wage

If the employee works more than the agreed 50 hours, the employee must be paid at the overtime wage for those hours.

Overtime exclusions

Employees who substantially control their hours of work and earn more than twice the Manitoba average industrial wage may be exempt from the hours of work and overtime provisions.  More information can be found on the Overtime Exemption - Workers Who Substantially Control Their Hours of Work page.

Employees who primarily perform management functions may be exempt from the hours of work and overtime provisions.  This does not necessarily include all employees who are called managers or supervisors.  More information can be found on the Overtime Exemption - Workers Who Perform Management Functions Primarily page.

Are employees called "manager" or "supervisor" exempt from overtime and hours of work?

Job titles have no impact on whether employees are exempt or not. The factors that are considered include the nature of their work functions and their level of control and authority in the organization.

What is the Manitoba Industrial Average Wage?

Statistics Canada establishes the Manitoba Industrial Average Wage each year.  If employees make twice that amount and have substantial control over their hours of work, they may be exempt from overtime. 


Manitoba Industrial Average Wage Twice the Manitoba Industrial Average Wage
June 1, 2023 - May 31, 2024 $54,939.04 $109,878.08
June 1, 2022 - May 31, 2023 $53,238.12 $106,476.24
June 1, 2021 - May 31, 2022 $51,612.08 $103,224.16
June 1, 2020 -- May 31, 2021 $49,598.12 $99,196.24
June 1, 2019 -- May 31, 2020 $48,716.20 $97,432.40
June 1, 2018 -- May 31, 2019 $47,367.32 $94,734.64
June 1, 2017 -- May 31, 2018 $46,203.04 $92,406.08
June 1, 2016 – May 31, 2017 $45,768.84 $91,537.68
June 1, 2015 – May 31, 2016 $44,869.24 $89,738.48
June 1, 2014 – May 31, 2015 $43,134.00 $86,268.00
June 1, 2013 – May 31, 2014 $42,021.72 $84,043.44




How is "substantial control over hours of work" defined?

Some employees have the ability to organize their work schedule to suit the needs of themselves and clients. They may need to check in with their employer occasionally, but the employer generally does not set the schedule or control their day-to-day activities. These employees would be considered to have "substantial control over their hours of work."

Most employees are told by the employer what days and hours they are required to work. They can request changes to their schedules, but do not have the final say. These employees do not have substantial control over their hours of work.

Do both criteria need to be met to be exempt from overtime?

Yes. To be exempt from overtime, employees must have substantial control over their hours of work and earn an annual regular wage of greater than twice the Manitoba industrial average wage.

Overtime for incentive-based pay plans

Most employees who work more than eight hours in a day and 40 hours in a week are entitled to overtime. This includes employees who are paid either entirely or partly by incentive pay. Overtime for an employee paid by incentive is calculated based on an average hourly wage. More information on how to calculate overtime for incentive based pay plans can be found on the Overtime - Incentive Pay Workers page.

How is overtime pay calculated for employees who are paid by incentive?

For incentive pay, calculating overtime is a two-step process:

  1. Calculate the regular hourly wage by dividing the total incentives earned in the pay period by the total number of hours worked in the pay period.
  2. Calculate the overtime pay wage rate by multiplying the regular hourly wage by 1 ½ times.

In each pay period, employees must be paid their hourly wage for all standard hours worked and their overtime wage (1 ½ times the regular hourly wage) for all overtime hours worked.

Overtime hours are those worked over the standard hours. In most cases, standard hours are eight hours in a day and 40 hours in a week. The Overtime page provides more details on how to determine overtime hours.

What is incentive pay?

Incentive pay is based on how productive employees are rather than the number of hours they work. Common examples include commission salespeople, flat-rate mechanics, and pieceworkers. 


What leaves are available to employees?

There are 14 leaves employees may take without fear of losing their job. They are:

  • Maternity Leave
  • Parental Leave
  • Family Leave
  • Bereavement Leave
    • Unpaid Leave for death of a family member
    • Unpaid Leave for loss of a pregnancy
  • Compassionate Care Leave
  • Long-Term Leave for Serious Injury or Illness
  • Interpersonal Violence Leave
  • Citizenship Leave
  • Leave Related to Critical Illness
  • Leave Related to Death or Disappearance of a Child
  • Reservist Leave
  • Leave for Organ Donation
  • Public Health Emergency Leave
  • COVID-19 Vaccination Leave

Who decides what type of leave an employee is taking?

Employees tell their employers what leave they are taking.  The employer will need enough detail to show the time off work meets the requirements of the leave.

When employees require time off, the employer should ask whether they are advising of a leave available under The Employment Standards Code. Employers do not control when employees can take a leave provided by law, but they do control other types of time off work.

Do employees get paid when on leave?

No. Employers are not required to pay wages to employees while on leave. For all leaves, the legislation only requires employers to provide the time off and allow employees to return to their job when the leave has ended. Employers can, and often do, give greater benefits than those provided for in the legislation.

However, other federal programs may provide income replacement. Employees should contact the federal government to find out what types of leaves have income replacement.

The only exceptions under The Employment Standards Code where an employer is required to pay a portion of a leave is under the Domestic Violence Leave and the COVID-19 Vaccination Leave.


Are there programs to pay employees while on leave?

The federal government has income support programs to cover certain types of leave.  To learn more, call Service Canada toll-free at 1 800 O-Canada (1-800-622-6232).

What happens when the leave ends?

Employees must be returned to the position the employee occupied when the leave began or to a comparable position, with no less than the pay and benefits the employee earned immediately prior to the leave.

What if the employee's job is no longer available?

Generally, employees should be returned to the job they had before the leave. However, if the job is no longer available, they must be given a similar position with the same or greater benefits and pay.

There may be some situations where employers do not have a position available for reasons completely unrelated to the leave. For example, employees who are on unpaid leave would not necessarily be protected from losing their jobs if the employer shut down part of their operations and reduced their workforce based on a seniority system.

Employers must show the leave has no impact on the decision to lay−off or terminate the employment.

Who qualifies for maternity leave?

Employees who have worked with the same employer for at least seven consecutive months and are expecting to give birth to a child are entitled to take maternity leave.

Who qualifies for parental leave?

Employees who have worked with the same employer for at least seven consecutive months and have become a parent by birth or adoption are entitled to the leave.

How long is family leave?

The legislation provides three unpaid days per year as family leave. Many employers give greater benefits than those provided for in the legislation, such as more days off or paid leave.

Who qualifies for Compassionate Care Leave?

Employees who have worked with the same employer for at least 90 days qualify for this leave. Employees must provide a certificate from a doctor indicating a family member has a serious medical condition, has a significant risk of death within the next 26 weeks, and needs care and support.

Who can take bereavement leave?

Anyone employed for at least 30 days with the same employer is entitled to bereavement leave.

Who are considered family members?

Family is defined very broadly for Employment Standards’ purposes. Children, stepchildren, parents, grandparents, spouses, common law spouses, brothers, sisters, step-brothers, step-sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews are all considered family members. The definition also includes those who are not related, but whom the employee considers to be like a close relative.

Vacations and Vacation Pay

How long is a vacation?

Employees must receive at least two weeks of vacation after each of the first four years of employment. After completing 5 years of work with the same employer, employees must receive a minimum of 3 weeks of vacation.

What are employees paid while on vacation?

Vacation pay is calculated based on the gross earnings in the previous year. Employees who are entitled to two weeks of vacation receive 4% of their gross wages as vacation pay and employees with three weeks’ vacation receive 6%.

When are employees paid their vacation pay?

Employers decide when vacation pay is to be paid. However, it must be paid no later than the last day of work before the vacation and within 10 months of earning it.

Can employers put vacation pay on every cheque?

Employers may put vacation pay on every cheque. Employees are still entitled to take time off as vacation, but because it has already been paid, they do not receive any additional vacation pay while they are off.

When can employees take their vacation?

Employees are eligible for vacation once they have completed one year of work and must take their vacation within 10 months of it being earned. Employees and their employers can agree on when vacation will be taken.

If an employer and employee cannot agree on when the vacation will be taken, the employer sets the vacation date. The employer must give the employee 15 days’ notice before the vacation is to be taken and cannot divide the vacation into periods shorter than one week. Employers can choose to schedule their employees' vacations as part of an annual shut down.

Can vacation be used as notice of termination?

Employers cannot use vacation for the notice period when terminating employment. 

When employees are terminating employment, they may use vacation for the notice period if the employer agrees.  Employees are entitled to all outstanding vacation pay when their employment ends.  See the Termination of Employment fact sheet for more information.   

General Holidays and Sunday Shopping

What are the general holidays in Manitoba?

There are nine general holidays throughout the year:

  • New Year's Day
  • Louis Riel Day (3rd Monday in February)
  • Good Friday
  • Victoria Day
  • July 1
  • Labour Day
  • Orange Shirt Day (National Day for Truth and Reconciliation)
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

Most employees are paid general holiday pay for these days whether they work or not. 

General Holiday


2024 2025

New Year's Day

January 1

January 1 January 1

Louis Riel Day

  February 20

February 19 February 17

Good Friday

April 7

March 29 April 18

Victoria Day

May 22

May 20 May 19

July 1

July 1

July 1 July 1

Labour Day

September 4

September 2 September 1

Orange Shirt Day

September 30  September 30 

Thanksgiving Day

October 9

October 14 October 13 

Christmas Day

December 25

December 25 December 25



Are Easter Sunday, Terry Fox Day, Remembrance Day and Boxing Day general holidays?

Employees who do not work on Easter Sunday, Terry Fox Day, and Boxing Day do not have to be paid because these are not general holidays.
Although Remembrance Day is not a general holiday, there are restrictions for operating businesses and special requirements for paying employees who work that day. See the Remembrance Day fact sheet for more details.

How is general holiday pay calculated?

Employees who consistently work the same number of hours get one regular work day’s pay as general holiday pay.

  • For example, an employee who always works 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week, would get their regular wages for 8 hours as general holiday pay.

For employees whose hours of work or wages vary, general holiday pay is calculated at 5% of the gross wages (not including overtime) in the 4 week period immediately before the holiday.

  • For example: an employee who works varying hours each day, and earned $1200 in the 4 weeks before the holiday, is entitled to general holiday pay of $60 ie.  $1200 ×5%=$60

Do all employers need to pay 1 ½ times the regular wage for work on a general holiday?

At most workplaces, employers must pay employees who work on a general holiday their general holiday pay, plus 1 ½ times their wage for the hours worked on that day.

The exception is for employers operating a gas station, hospital, hotel, restaurant, place of amusement, continuously operating business, climate-controlled agricultural business, or a seasonal industry (excluding construction), or those employing domestic workers. These employers can pay regular wages for work on the holiday if they provide another day off with general holiday pay within the next 30 days. If employers and employees agree, the day off may be taken sometime before the employees' next annual vacation. 

Do all employees receive general holiday pay?

All employees receive general holiday pay unless:

  • They are scheduled to work on a general holiday, but are absent without the employer's permission.
  • They are absent without the employer's permission from their last scheduled workday before the holiday, or their first scheduled workday after the holiday.

Election officials, enumerators and any other temporary person appointed under The Elections Act are not entitled to general holiday pay.

What if employees work on the general holiday?

Employees who work on a general holiday are normally entitled to 1 ½ times their regular rate of pay for the hours worked on the day in addition to their general holiday pay.

What if employment ends in the four weeks before a general holiday?

If employees end the employment before a general holiday there is no entitlement to general holiday pay for that holiday.

If employers end the employment before a general holiday, employees are still entitled to general holiday pay of 5% of total wages (excluding overtime, but including wages in lieu of notice) for the four-week period immediately before the holiday. The general holiday pay must be paid with the last wages no later than 10 business days after the employment ended.

What retail businesses can be open on Sundays and general holidays?

Retail businesses are no longer required to close after 6 p.m. on Sundays and certain holidays and can set their own hours of operation. 

While provincial restrictions have been removed, municipalities have authority to pass by-laws under The Municipal Act to restrict retail businesses within their jurisdictions from operating on certain days or during specific hours. 

Remembrance Day is not a general holiday. Retail businesses cannot be open between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on Remembrance Day. More information is available on the Remembrance Day fact sheet.

Can an employee in a retail business refuse to work on Sunday?

Yes, retail workers have the right to refuse work on Sundays if they give their employer at least 14 days' notice except in the following circumstances:

  • Employees who agreed in writing at the time of being hired to work on Sundays;
  • Employees under a collective agreement that provides that the employee must not refuse to work on Sundays; and
  • Employees who work in a retail business establishment where the number of persons, including the owner, employed for the sale of goods or services does not ordinarily exceed four persons at any one time.

Are there protections in place for retail employees who refuse to work on a Sunday?

Employment Standards may order employers to pay compensation or reinstate employees who are terminated or otherwise discriminated against for exercising the right to refuse work on Sunday.

Do retail employees get a day off per week?

Most employees are entitled to a rest period of no less than 24 consecutive hours each week, including retail workers. 

Termination of Employment

What is termination of employment?

Termination of employment is when the employment relationship is ended by either the employer or employee.

Common expressions for termination of employment include:

  • Fired
  • Quit
  • Let go
  • Discharged
  • Dismissed
  • Permanently laid off
  • Terminated

Do employees need to give notice of termination?

Yes. The amount of notice depends on how long the employee has been employed by the same employer: 


Period of Employment

Notice Period

At least 30 days but less than one year

One week

At least one year

Two weeks 


Do employers need to give notice of termination?

 Yes. The amount of notice depends on how long the employee has worked for the same employer. 

Period of employment

Notice period

At least 30 days but less than one year

One week

At least one year and less than three years

Two weeks

At least three years and less than five years

Four weeks

At least five years and less than ten years

Six weeks

At least ten years

Eight weeks


Employers can either allow the employee to work out this notice period, or pay wages in lieu of notice for the same number of weeks, or a combination of both.

Is there a period when no notice is needed?

Yes. Employers and employees do not need to give notice of termination when the employee has been employed for less than 30 days.  Employers are not allowed to extend or change this period unless it is negotiated in a collective agreement with a union.  

Can employers have notice policies for their businesses that are different from the legislation?

No.  Employers cannot have a notice policy that differs from the requirements of the legislation.  The only exclusion is a unionized workplace, where a collective agreement specifies different notice requirements.

Can employers pay wages instead of providing notice of termination?

Employers can pay the amount of wages employees would otherwise have received had they worked out the notice period (often called wages in lieu of notice).  Employers can also allow employees to work for part of the notice period and pay wages in lieu of notice for the remainder. 

Employees who work the same hours every week receive their regular earnings for wages in lieu of notice.  For employees who work varying hours every week, wages in lieu are based on the average of the earnings for regular weekly hours worked over the last 6 month period.  Vacation wages and overtime wages are not added to wages paid in lieu of notice.


Can employers keep employees' wages if employees terminate without notice?

No. Employers must pay out all wages the employee has earned up until the last day worked. Employers must pay employees all earned wages within 10 business days of the last day of work. An employer can pursue any lost money through civil court.

Are there situations when employers or employees do not need to give notice of termination?

The following are some cases where notice of termination is not required:

  • When employees are placed on a temporary layoff period of no more than 8 weeks in a 16 week period. There are additional considerations for determining the layoff period for temporary help employees. See Temporary Help Agency fact sheet.
  • When the employee works in the construction industry 
  • When the employer can prove just cause, see Just Cause fact sheet
  • When employment is for a specific length of time or a specific task or job
  • When the employee has substantial control over whether or not to accept work and is not penalized by the employer for choosing not to work, except for temporary help employees who are entitled to notice if they regularly work more than 12 hours per week
  • If the employer acts in a manner that is improper or violent toward the employee
  • Under The Elections Act, election workers can be terminated for specific reasons by the person who appointed them. The worker can appeal to the Legislative Assembly

Employers must consider each situation on a case by case basis if deciding not to provide a notice period to an employee.

Do employers need just cause to terminate employees?

Under The Employment Standards Code, employees and employers can terminate employment without any reason, but are required to give proper notice of the termination.  Employers who believe they have good reason (“just cause”) to terminate an employee without notice must be able to show sufficient evidence.  Employment Standards investigates complaints related to whether the employee should have been provided a notice period.

Do notice provisions cover construction?

No. Employees who work in the construction industry are excluded from notice of termination requirements. For more information, see the Construction Industry page.

For more information contact Employment Standards:

Phone:     204-945-3352 or toll free in Canada 1-800-821-4307

Fax:           204-948-3046

Website:  www.manitoba.ca/labour/standards

This is a general overview and the information used is subject to change. For detailed information, please refer to current legislation including The Employment Standards Code, The Construction Industry Wages Act , The Worker Recruitment and Protection Act, or contact Employment Standards.

Available in alternate formats
upon request.

Date Published: April 17, 2024