Interpretation Guidelines Manual British Columbia Employment Standards Act and Regulations


ESA Section 60 – Common date for calculating vacation entitlement


Text of Legislation
Policy Interpretation
Related Information


This section explains an employer’s obligations if they establish a common date for calculating their employees’ annual vacation entitlement.  

Text of Legislation

60. An employer may use a common date for calculating the annual vacation entitlement of all employees under sections 57 and 58, so long as this does not result in a reduction of any employee's rights under those sections.

Policy Interpretation

Due to accounting preferences, some employers may choose to use a common date (for example, the calendar year or the employer’s fiscal year) for all employees for vacation purposes, rather than using individual employee anniversary dates. Since the employee’s rights cannot be reduced, each employee is deemed to reach his or her first anniversary the first time the common date occurs after their date of hire.


  • Keith begins work on March 1, 2018. His employer uses a common date of September 1st to calculate annual vacation entitlements for all employees. As of August 31, 2018, the end of the employer’s common year, he is deemed to reach his first anniversary date and is entitled to 4% vacation pay on wages earned and a pro-rated amount of vacation time, based on his actual length of service. Since Keith has been employed for six months, or half a year, he is entitled to half of his yearly statutory entitlement of two weeks’ vacation, or one week.

    Keith must be granted his vacation prior to August 31, 2019 (within the 12 months following the employer’s common date of September l) in accordance with s. 57(2).

    From September 1, 2018 onwards, Keith earns his vacation entitlement on an annual basis from September 1 to August 31, in accordance with the employer’s common date.

    Since using a common date cannot result in a reduction of employee rights, Keith is deemed to reach his five year anniversary with his employer on August 31, 2022. He becomes entitled to three weeks' vacation and 6% pay in the year starting September 1, 2022.

    If the employer did not use a common date, Keith would become entitled to three weeks of vacation and 6% vacation pay as of March 1, 2023. The common date moves his anniversary ahead to September 1, 2022. If the employer used the common date to make his five year anniversary date September 1, 2023, later than his individual anniversary date, that would represent a reduction in employee rights and would be a contravention of s.60.

Employees covered by a collective agreement

Under s.3 of the Act, where a collective agreement contains any provision respecting annual vacation, the provisions of this section do not apply. If a collective agreement does not contain any provision respecting annual vacation, Part 7 is deemed by s.3 to be incorporated in the collective agreement as part of its terms.

Under s.3, where there is a collective agreement, the enforcement of matters relating to Part 7 is through the grievance procedure, not through the enforcement provisions of the Act.

Related Information

Related sections of the Act or Regulation



See Employment Standards Factsheets


Annual Vacation

Collective Agreements and the Employment Standards Act