Leave for traditional Indigenous practices

Section VII of part III of the Canada Labour Code provides for leave for traditional Indigenous practices.

The following paragraphs are intended to answer any questions that employers and employees under federal jurisdiction may ask on the topic. Sheet No. 1 of this series describes the types of businesses that are therefore subject to the Code. To get this sheet, please contact the Labour Program office or consult the Labour Program website.

On this page

  1. The maximum duration prescribed in the Code
  2. Leave taken over more than one period
  3. Unpaid leave
  4. Documentation demonstrating that the employee who used this leave is Indigenous
  5. The definition of Indigenous for the purposes of this leave

1. The maximum duration prescribed in the Code

Indigenous employees who have worked for an employer without interruption for at least three months have the right to a leave of a maximum of five days per calendar year to allow them to participate in a traditional Indigenous practice, in particular:

  • Hunting
  • Fishing
  • Harvesting or gathering
  • All practices prescribed by regulation

2. Leave taken over more than one period

The leave may be taken in one or more periods; the employer may, however, require that each period be at least one day.

3. Unpaid leave

This leave is unpaid.

4. Employer’s request for documentation demonstrating that the employee who used this leave is Indigenous

The employer may, in writing, no later than 15 days after the employee has returned to work, request that they provide documents that demonstrate that they are Indigenous.

The employee is only required to provide such documents if it is possible in practice to obtain and provide them.

5. The definition of Indigenous for the purposes of this leave

Under this section, Indigenous means Indian, Inuit or Métis.

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