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Yes, and no. The answer depends on whether you consider your intern an employee or not. Under Canadian federal employment standards IPG-069, an employee “undertakes for a limited or indeterminate period of time to do work for remuneration according to the instructions and under the direction or control of another person, the employer.” IPG-069 also states:

“Within the framework of a contract of employment, a person carries out the service of work, receives remuneration and the work is carried out according to the direction and control of the employer. The terms of the contract may be either in writing or given orally, but both are equally binding and enforceable. When a person is hired to be an employee, the person enters into a contract of service, which is an employer/employee relationship.”

IPG-069 states that a worker can be considered an employee if the following are present:

  • Works exclusively for the payer
  • Payer provides tools
  • Payer controls duties, whether that control is used or not
  • Payer sets working hours
  • Worker must perform services
  • Provision of pension, group benefits
  • Worker is paid vacation pay
  • Payer pays expenses
  • Paid salary or hourly wage
  • Reports to payer’s workplace on regular basis

On Monday, October 21st, the federal election will call upon Canadian citizens – at least 18 years old on election day and with proof of identity and address – to vote. In the 2011 election, Canada saw its third-lowest voter turnout at 61.1%. In 2015, only 68.3% of those eligible voted. The second-most common reason among those who responded that they didn’t vote in the last election attributed not voting to being ‘too busy.’

One can’t assume that every instance of being too busy is employment-related. However, by law, employers are legally obligated to give their employees time off to vote.

Under the Canada Elections Act, Section 132 (1) states:

“Every employee who is an elector is entitled, during voting hours on polling day, to have three consecutive hours for the purpose of casting his or her vote and, if his or her hours of work do not allow for those three consecutive hours, his or her employer shall allow the time for voting that is necessary to provide those three consecutive hours.”

Employers can encourage their employees to vote but shouldn’t direct their employees to vote for a specific political party. While one political party’s victory may result favourably for the employer, employers shouldn’t impose its political beliefs on their employees.


Additional Resources

Elections Canada

Providing identification to vote

Accessible voting

Other FAQ