Time Away from PetSmart

Time away from work is essential and we encourage our associates to take their vacation and discretionary days in the calendar year they are offered. We encourage and value your time away from work like you do. The below information provides an overview of the different types of time off that you may be eligible for.


PetSmart observes several holidays each year. All associates may be eligible for the following holidays:


  • New Year’s Day – Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023 – Provincial Note: Statutory in all nine provinces
  • Family Day (name varies) – Monday, Feb. 20, 2023 – Provincial Note: Statutory in all provinces except NL
  • Good Friday – Friday, April 7, 2023 – Provincial Note: Statutory in all nine provinces
  • Victoria Day – Monday, May 22, 2023 – Provincial Note: Statutory in all provinces except NL, NB, NS, PEI
  • Canada Day – Saturday, July 1, 2023– Provincial Note: Statutory in all nine provinces
  • Civic Day – Monday, Aug. 7, 2023 – Statutory in all provinces except AB, MB, NS, NL, PE 
  • Labour Day – Monday, Sept. 4, 2023 – Provincial Note: Statutory in all nine provinces
  • National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – Saturday, September 30, 2023 – Provincial Note: Statutory in BC, PEI
  • Thanksgiving Day – Monday, Oct. 9, 2023 – Provincial Note: Statutory in all provinces except NB, NS, NL, PEI
  • Remembrance Day* – Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023 – Provincial Note: Statutory in all provinces except ON, NS
  • Christmas Day – Monday, Dec. 25, 2023 – Provincial Note: Statutory in all nine provinces
  • Boxing Day – Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2023 – Provincial Note: Statutory in ON only

*Ottawa Stores can open at 12:30 p.m.; Manitoba stores can open at 1:00 p.m.; considered statutory if worked but no entitlement to pay if not worked.


Holiday Hours and Pay Policy

If an associate works at the Canada Home Office and the holiday falls on Sunday, then the Canada Home Office is typically closed on the Monday following the actual holiday. If the holiday falls on Saturday, then the Canada Home Office is typically closed on the Friday prior to the holiday. This may vary based on department and work schedule. 


Vacation time and vacation pay begin accruing on the first day of employment. However, no vacation time can be taken during the first 90 days of employment. Vacation time accrual for the calendar year begins on the Monday of the first pay period of the payroll calendar year.

Full-time associates:

  • Potential vacation time is available for eligible associates in January of each year. Full-time associates may schedule vacation time up to the amount of potential vacation time they have for the calendar year.
  • Accrued vacation time is the number of hours accruing each week based on the number of hours worked. Essentially one full year of work will amount to the full potential vacation time.
  • Vacation pay accrues weekly based on earnings multiplied by 4, 6, 8, or 10%.

Part-time associates:

  • Part-time associates accrue paid vacation time based on the number of actual hours worked. Part-time associates may take unpaid vacation hours should they not have enough accrued time. Part-time associates are only entitled to be paid for accrued vacation time and are not entitled to be paid for potential vacation time.

For Canadian Store associates, vacation time will generally not be approved during the following periods: 

  • PetSmart holiday season blackout dates, which are:
    • typically during the months of November and December (specific dates will be communicated annually). 
    • Two weeks prior to and one week after a store physical inventory. 
  • Associates must take all their statutory vacation time each year. (Associates will be deemed to have taken statutory vacation time before any non-statutory vacation time.) Unused vacation hours will be carried over to the new year and can be taken as unpaid vacation, as the earnings will be paid at the end of each calendar year. * NOTE: In some provinces, PetSmart policy provides more vacation time and vacation pay than province employment standards require. In accordance with Saskatchewan law, all associates in Saskatchewan will receive a minimum of 3 weeks of vacation time and 6% vacation pay.
  • Vacation time should be taken in full-hour increments.
  • Eligible associates will generally be permitted to take a maximum of up to two weeks of vacation time per vacation request.
  • Vacation time does not count as time worked in calculating overtime hours.
  • Vacation pay will generally only be processed for time taken away from work; it is not to be used for miscellaneous personal expenses.
  • Vacation pay is paid based on an associate’s paid annual wages in accordance with applicable employment standards legislation.
  • At the end of each year, payroll will conduct a reconciliation of vacation pay based on percentage of pay and current pay. If an adjustment is necessary, a true-up of vacation pay will be made after the final pay cheque in December. Any vacation earnings accrued during the year but not paid prior to the end of December will be paid out on the first pay period in January.
  • Associates that change status (e.g., part-time to full-time hourly or full-time hourly to salary) will receive the appropriate vacation time accrual, based on the vacation accrual schedules below, beginning the first full week in the new position. Potential vacation time will adjust accordingly based on the new accrual and the weeks left in the payroll calendar year.

Sick Time

Full-time hourly and salaried associates

Associates are eligible to use paid sick time for an illness once they have completed the 90-day introductory period and are classified as a full-time regular associate. Full-time associates will accrue up to four hours of paid sick leave for each completed month of full-time service, up to a maximum of 48 hours per calendar year. Associates are eligible to use this time for an illness once they have completed the 90-day introductory period and are classified as full-time regular hourly or salaried. The associate can use sick pay starting on the first day of his/her illness through the seventh day of illness, up to a maximum of 40 hours of sick pay. After the seventh day of illness, the associate may be eligible to file a claim under the short-term disability benefit plan to receive compensation while off work for disability.

For additional information, click here

Discretionary Days

Each year, PetSmart provides up to two discretionary days that give associates time off for any reason they choose. Discretionary days are provided to regular full-time associates. Only full-time associates (hourly and salaried) will receive two discretionary days per calendar year if they are classified as active status on January 1st of each year. To learn more visit the policies and procedures library on Fetch.


  • Ontario associates receive one day per year.
  • Discretionary days should be used before vacation days to avoid forfeiture on December 31st of each year.
  • Part-time associates are not eligible for discretionary days.
  • Associates newly hired or promoted to full-time status receive the following discretionary days:
    • January through June receive two discretionary days (except ON receives one day)
    • July through September receive one discretionary day (except ON receive zero days)
    • October through December receive zero discretionary days
  • Associates should request discretionary days in advance through their manager. Time for hourly associates should be entered in the time and attendance system. To receive pay, salaried associates are responsible for submitting a discretionary time request in Employee Self-Service for their manager to approve in Manager Self-Service.

Jury and Witness Duty

If an associate serves on a jury or as a judicial witness, PetSmart will pay the difference between the fee received and the associate’s base salary pay for up to five regularly scheduled workdays for the time they would have normally be scheduled to work, falling within the associate’s tour of jury or witness duty.

  • Associates must notify their supervisor upon receipt of a summons for jury duty notice.
  • This applies to all full-time and part-time regular associates.
  • Salon associates are paid their average hourly rate based on their regular pay, overtime and commissions paid as calculated by the time and attendance system.
  • Jury or witness duty hours do not count towards weekly (daily) overtime.
  • Associates who are required to be a witness in a matter related to their personal affairs will not be paid for their leave.
  • This paid time is inclusive of, rather than in addition to, the associates statutory entitlement.
  • If you require a release from jury duty letter, please contact HRSharedServices@petsmart.com.


Full-time associates who have completed 90 days of employment are eligible for up to three days of paid time off following the death of an immediate family member.

Immediate family is defined as current spouse, same-sex domestic partner, common-law spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, child (in-law), current mother-in-law, current father-in-law, grandparents, grandchildren, or significant other. Management must approve bereavement leave for others not falling within this definition. While on bereavement leave, associates are paid their regular daily rate. Pay for commissioned Salon and Pet Training associates is paid at the associates average hourly rate based on their regular pay, overtime and commissions paid by HR Shared Services Canada. Bereavement hours do not count towards weekly (daily) overtime. Part-time associates are not eligible to receive bereavement pay.

Management may require associates to furnish satisfactory evidence to support the leave. If circumstances demand that the associate takes additional time, management may grant an unpaid leave of absence.

Leave of Absence and Acommodations

We know that life happens, and it’s important for you to take the time you need. Our PetSmart Leave of Absence team is here to help you navigate taking time away from work.

Associates who are on leave on December 31st will be paid out their accrued vacation minus time already taken on the payday that follows. However, these associates may still be entitled to unpaid vacation time off as may be required by employment standards legislation, if eligible. Store associates will be paid out any accrued vacation pay if they return from leave during the holiday season blackout period. Canada Home Office associates who return from leave should use their accrued vacation time by December 31st if possible.

In accordance with the Leave of Absence Policy, full-time associates may have the ability to use any accrued vacation, discretionary or sick time during the waiting period for short-term disability. Part-time associates have the ability to use any accrued paid time off during their absence.

To learn more, review the related policies located in the Policy and Procedure library on our internal Fetch site.

Termination of Employment

Click here for your guide to what happens with your benefits and actions you may need to take when voluntarily or involuntarily leaving the business. 

Once an associate provides notice of termination, the associate cannot use accrued vacation time to extend the notice period.  When an associate’s employment with PetSmart ends, the associate will receive all accrued vacation pay. Annual vacation entitlements are:

  • Accrued vacation time: vacation time earned according to the accrual schedules below
  • Potential vacation time: vacation time an associate is eligible for in a year according to the potential schedules below

Years of Service

Vacation Time

Vacation Pay


Part-time, full-time hourly & salaried associates in AB, BC, MB, NB, NS & ON

2 weeks (80 hours)

4% of annual wages


Full-time hourly, salaried, CHO, all SK associates and exempt store leaders

3 weeks (120 hours)

6% of annual wages 


All associates in all provinces

3 weeks (120 hours)

6% of annual wages 


All associates in all provinces

4 weeks (160 hours)

8% of annual wages 


All associates in all provinces 

5 weeks (200 hours)

8% of annual wages

*Associates receive their increase in vacation pay and vacation hours in January of the year they reach their 5th and 10th years of continuous service. (Example: If an Ontario-based store associate started in November of 2005, he/she would receive 6% vacation pay and 120 hours of vacation time as of January 2010.)

**Associates who reach their 15th year of continuous service will receive their increase in vacation hours, and their vacation pay will remain at 8%. The increase will be effective the first of January.

Thinking of retiring?  

Click here for information on what happens to your benefits and what actions you need to take when you retire from PetSmart.  For eligible associates enrolled in the Long Term Incentive Plan before retirement click here for information on the LTC Retirement Provision, a provision that helps recognize the contributions of associates who have made a long-term commitment to PetSmart.