Take time to vote Tuesday May 14th

HSA members are urged to vote in the provincial election. The outcome of this election will have a profound effect on the health care and community services our members provide, as well as other public services that our families, friends and communities rely on.

Tuesday, May 14th is BC's provincial Election Day. Polls are open that day from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Pacific Time).

Right to time off

Section 74 of BC's Election Act states any employee who is eligible to vote is entitled to four consecutive hours free from employment during voting hours on General Voting Day, for the purpose of voting.

This does not necessarily mean four hours off from work. It means that voters must have a four hour period with no work sometime between 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. It is up to the employer to decide when their employees may take time off work to vote. Time off may be at the beginning or end of an employee's shift, or may be unnecessary if normal working hours already provide the required 4 consecutive hours free from employment.

If your shift ends at or before 4:00 p.m., or does not begin until noon or later, then you are not entitled to any time off. But if, for example, you work 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., then your employer is obliged to allow you either 3 hours at the beginning, 4 hours during, or 1 hour at the end of your shift, to provide you with 4 consecutive hours to vote. It is your employer's choice which option to provide.

It is an offence for an employer to take any deduction from an employee's pay, or exact any other penalty, for time off for voting. The employee is entitled to their regular compensation for those hours not worked while voting.

You may vote at any voting location in your electoral district. Registered voters should receive a "Where to Vote" card in the mail listing the voting locations in your area. If you don't receive a card, you can find out where to vote at the Elections BC website, or by phoning your local Elections BC office, or the local campaign of any of the major political parties.

Additional information about other voting opportunities, voting locations and voter eligibility is available on the Elections BC website.