Bereavement          Holidays           Vacation Leave

Parental Leave           Medical Leave           Civic Duties

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is intended for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or an opinion on any issue.  Users are advised to seek legal advice from their legal counsel prior to taking (or omitting to take) any action based on the information contained herein.  While we periodically review and update the information contained herein, we do not warrant or guarantee the quality, accuracy or completeness of any information contained herein and the information should not be relied upon as accurate, timely or fit for any particular purpose. This information was constructed on October 15th 2018.

What are Federally Regulated Employees entitled to in terms of Sick/Medical Leave in Canada?

Federally Regulated Employees include the following

If you are employed by one of the following businesses and industries, you are more than likely working in a federally regulated sector:

  • banks
  • marine shipping, ferry and port services
  • air transportation, including airports, aerodromes and airlines
  • railway and road transportation that involves crossing provincial or international borders
  • canals, pipelines, tunnels and bridges (crossing provincial borders)
  • telephone, telegraph and cable systems
  • radio and television broadcasting
  • grain elevators, feed and seed mills
  • uranium mining and processing
  • businesses dealing with the protection of fisheries as a natural resource
  • many First Nation activities
  • most federal Crown corporations
  • private businesses necessary to the operation of a federal act

 

Federally regulated employees are entitled to unpaid leave, except bereavement leave which is paid.

General holidays

Federally regulated employees are entitled to nine paid general holidays every year. These are also known as statutory holidays.

They are:

[Division V]

Alberta

Most employees, full-time and part-time, are entitled to paid general holidays immediately after starting their employment.

General holiday

Definition of holiday

2018

2019

New Year’s Day

January 1

January 1

January 1

Alberta Family Day

Third Monday in February

February 19

February 18

Good Friday

Friday before Easter

March 30

April 19

Victoria Day

Monday before May 25

May 21

May 20

Canada Day

July 1, except when it falls on a Sunday, then it is July 2

July 2

July 1

Labour Day

First Monday in September

September 3

September 2

Thanksgiving Day

Second Monday in October

October 8

October 14

Remembrance Day

November 11

November 11

November 11

Christmas Day

December 25

December 25

December 25


Optional general holidays

If an employer agrees to designate additional general holidays for their employees, all employment standards rules related to general holiday pay still apply for these additional holidays. Employees should confirm this and any pay entitlements with their employer.

Optional general holidays in Alberta include:

Optional holiday

Definition of holiday

2018

2019

Easter Monday

First Monday following Easter

April 2

April 22

Heritage Day

First Monday in August

August 6

August 5

Boxing Day

December 26

December 26

December 26

 

Employee eligibility

To be eligible for general holiday pay for Holidays, employees must:

  • work their scheduled shift before and after the holiday (unless employer consent is given for the absence)
  • work on the general holiday if required and scheduled to do so

Holiday pay rate

If an employee doesn’t work on the Holiday, then they are entitled to general holiday pay of an amount that is at least their average daily wage.

If an employee works on the Holiday, then the employee is entitled to general holiday pay of an amount that is equal to:

  • at least their average daily wage, and at least 1.5 times their wage rate for each hour worked on that day, or
  • standard wage rate for each hour worked on the general holiday and a day off with pay where the pay is at least as much as their average daily wages.

[Division 5]

British Columbia


 

2018

2019

2020

2021

New Year's Day

Monday

January 1

Tuesday

January 1

Wednesday

January 1

Friday

January 1

Family Day

Monday

February 12

Monday

February 18

Monday

February 17

Monday

February 15

Good Friday

Friday

March 30

Friday

April 19

Friday

April 10

Friday

April 2

Victoria Day

Monday

May 21

Monday

May 20

Monday

May 18

Monday

May 24

Canada Day

Monday

July 2

Monday

July 1

Wednesday

July 1

Thursday

July 1

B.C. Day

Monday

August 6

Monday

August 5

Monday

August 3

Monday

August 2

Labour Day

Monday

September 3

Monday

September 2

Monday

September 7

Monday

September 6

Thanksgiving Day

Monday

October 8

Monday

October 14

Monday

October 12

Monday

October 11

Remembrance Day

Sunday

November 11

Monday

November 11

Wednesday

November 11

Thursday

November 11

Christmas Day

Tuesday

December 25

Wednesday

December 25

Friday

December 25

Saturday

December 25


Entitlement to statutory holiday

The Employee must be employed by the employer for at least 30 calendar days before the statutory holiday and has

  • worked or earned wages for 15 of the 30 calendar days preceding the statutory holiday, or
  • worked under an averaging agreement under section 37 at any time within that 30 calendar day period.

Statutory holiday pay

An employee who is given a day off on a statutory holiday, or is given a day off instead of the statutory holiday must be paid an amount equal to at least an average day's pay determined by the formula

amount paid ÷ days worked

 

where

 

amount paid

is the amount paid or payable to the employee for work that is done during and wages that are earned within the 30 calendar day period preceding the statutory holiday, including vacation pay that is paid or payable for any days of vacation taken within that period, less any amounts paid or payable for overtime, and

days worked

is the number of days the employee worked or earned wages within that 30 calendar day period.

The average day's pay applies whether or not the statutory holiday falls on the employee's regularly scheduled day off.

If employee is required to work on statutory holiday

  • An employee who works on a statutory holiday must be paid for that day
  • 1 1/2 times the employee's regular wage for the time worked up to 12 hours,
  • double the employee's regular wage for any time worked over 12 hours, and
  • an average day's pay, as determined using the formula mentioned above

Substituting another day for a statutory holiday

An employer may for one or more employees at a workplace substitute another day off for a statutory holiday if the employer and the employee or a majority of those employees, as the case may be, agree to the substitution.

Manitoba

[Division 4]

There are eight general holidays throughout the year:

  • New Year's Day
  • Louis Riel Day (3rd Monday in February)
  • Good Friday
  • Victoria Day
  • Canada Day
  • Labour Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

Most employees are paid general holiday pay for these days whether they work or not. 

Are Easter Sunday, Terry Fox Day, Remembrance Day and Boxing Day general holidays?

Employees who do not work on Easter Sunday, Terry Fox Day, and Boxing Day do not have to be paid because these are not general holidays.
       
Although Remembrance Day is not a general holiday, there are restrictions for operating businesses and special requirements for paying employees who work that day. See the Remembrance Day fact sheet for more details.

How is general holiday pay calculated?

Employees who consistently work the same number of hours get one regular work day’s pay as general holiday pay.

For employees whose hours of work or wages vary, general holiday pay is calculated at 5% of the gross wages (not including overtime) in the 4 week period immediately before the holiday.

Is there an exception for the construction industry?

In the construction industry employees are still entitled to general holiday pay.  Employees working in the construction industry receive 4% of their gross earnings as general holiday pay, which is often paid on every cheque instead of on the general holiday.

Do all employees receive general holiday pay?

All employees receive general holiday pay unless:

  • They are scheduled to work on a general holiday, but are absent without the employer's permission.
  • They are absent without the employer's permission from their last scheduled workday before the holiday, or their first scheduled workday after the holiday.
  • Election officials, enumerators and any other temporary person appointed under The Elections Act are not entitled to general holiday pay.

Do employees have to work a certain length of time before they qualify for general holiday pay?

No. The length of time employees work for an employer does not affect the requirement to pay general holiday pay.

What if employees work on the general holiday?

Employees who work on a general holiday are normally entitled to 1 ½ times their regular rate of pay for the hours worked on the day in addition to their general holiday pay.

Do all employers need to pay 1 ½ times the regular wage for work on a general holiday?

At most workplaces, employers must pay employees who work on a general holiday their general holiday pay, plus 1 ½ times their wage for the hours worked on that day.

The exception is for employers operating a gas station, hospital, hotel, restaurant, place of amusement, continuously operating business, climate-controlled agricultural business, or a seasonal industry (excluding construction), or those employing domestic workers. These employers can pay regular wages for work on the holiday if they provide another day off with general holiday pay within the next 30 days. If employers and employees agree, the day off may be taken sometime before the employees' next annual vacation. 

New Brunswick

What are the paid public holidays in New Brunswick?

As of January 1st, 2018, there are eight paid public holidays in New Brunswick, which are:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Family Day (3rd Monday in February)
  • Good Friday
  • Canada Day
  • New Brunswick Day
  • Labour Day
  • Remembrance Day
  • Christmas Day 

How does an employee qualify for a paid public holiday?

To qualify, an employee must:

  • be employed by the employer for at least 90 calendar days (not only work days) during the 12 months before the public holiday;
  • have worked his scheduled regular day of work before and after the holiday (this is not necessarily the day immediately before or after the holiday), unless there is a good reason for not doing so (most reasons related to illness are considered acceptable);
  • If he has agreed to work on the public holiday report for work and work his scheduled shift unless there is a good reason for not doing so;
  • not be employed under an arrangement where he can decide when to work or not to work; and
  • not be employed in specific occupations exempted by regulation.

What must employers pay their employees for a paid public holiday?

All employees are entitled to receive one and one-half time their regular wage rate for each hour worked on a paid public holiday. An employee who qualifies and works on the public holiday must receive his regular day’s pay plus one and one-half times his regular wage rate for the hours worked on that day. An employee who qualifies and does not work on the public holiday must receive his regular day’s pay for that day.

Employee Does not work Works
Qualifies Regular day's pay Regular day's pay +1.5 times regular wages for hours worked. 
Does not qualify No wages 1.5 times regular wages for hours worked.

 

What happens if the holiday falls on a non-working day or during an employee’s vacation?

When the holiday falls on a non-working day or during an employee’s vacation, the employee who qualifies must receive another working day off with pay in lieu of the holiday, or if the employee agrees, a regular day’s pay for that day.

When the employee’s wages vary from day to day how does an employer calculate a regular day’s pay?

The employee shall be paid based on an average day’s pay. This calculation takes into account all hours worked (excluding overtime) in the 30 days immediately before the holiday. For example, for the July 1st holiday where an employee has worked a total of 20 days between June 1st and June 30th for a total of 135 hours the employee is entitled to 6.75 hours (135 hours divided by 20 days) times the employee’s regular rate of pay.

Does the employer have another option than that of paying the employee a regular day’s pay when he qualifies for a paid public holiday?

Yes. Instead of paying the employee a regular day’s pay for the public holiday, the employer has the option of paying the employee an additional four per cent (as of January 1st, 2018) of all of the employee’s gross wages. In addition to paying the 4% of the employee’s wages, when the employee works on a paid public holiday, the employer must also pay him one and one-half times his regular rate of pay for the hours worked on each holiday.

Can an employer and an employee make an agreement whereby another working day off is provided to the employee in lieu of a paid public holiday?

Yes, an employer and an employee can make such an agreement. However, the substituted day must be taken by the employee no later than the employee’s next vacation period. The employer should record that substituted day in the payroll records as the public holiday. Where the business is considered to be a “continuous operation”, such as a hotel, a tourist resort, tavern or a restaurant, the employer may substitute the paid public holiday with another scheduled working day off and he can do so without the agreement of the employee. The employer can choose to designate the employee’s first working day after a vacation period as the paid public holiday or he can designate a working day agreed upon with the employee as the paid public holiday.

Do all employees qualify to receive pay for a public holiday?

No. Employees in certain occupations (e.g. professionals, house and car salesmen) do not qualify to receive pay for a public holiday. For more information regarding the list of occupations, please contact the Employment Standards Branch.

Where an employee has an arrangement with an employer whereby the employee has the right to determine when he works, is the employee eligible to receive pay for a public holiday?

No. This “elect to work” arrangement may be formal or informal. In either case, the employee must have complete discretion as to whether he will work when requested to do so. If the employee’s failure to work when requested may result in a loss of employment, loss of future referral for work or any other form of disciplinary or discriminating action, the arrangement may not be considered an elect to work arrangement.

Newfoundland and Labrador

How many paid public holidays are there?

Under the Labour Standards Act[Part II], there are 6 public holidays throughout the year, they are: 

  • New Year’s Day
  • Good Friday
  • Memorial Day (Canada Day)
  • Labour Day
  • Remembrance Day
  • Christmas Day

Additional days may be proclaimed by the Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council. Different holidays may be set by collective agreements in substitution for those days designated under the Labour Standards Act.

Working on a Public Holiday

An employee who works on a paid public holiday is entitled to receive wages at twice their regular rate for the hours worked on the holiday or an additional day off with pay within 30 days or an additional vacation day. Employees do not have to meet any qualifiers to receive this benefit

Working Fewer Hours on a Public Holiday

If an employee is required to work fewer hours on a paid public holiday than they would normally work, the employer is required to pay the employee at their regular rate of pay for the actual hours worked plus a regular day’s pay.

 

Entitled to Pay

If an employee has been employed by the employer for at least 30 calendar days prior to the paid holiday and works their scheduled shift before and after the paid holiday, the employee is entitled to an average day's pay for the paid public holiday even though no work was performed on the day.

 

How is an employee to be compensated if a public holiday falls on a day the employee would normally be scheduled off work?

The employee shall not be required to work either on the first working day immediately after the public holiday or another day mutually agreed to by the employee and employer and this day shall be a paid day for the employee.

How is the employee who works shifts of varying hours and who does not work on the paid public holiday to be paid?

If an employee has been employed by the employer for at least 30 calendar days prior to the paid holiday and works their scheduled shift before and after the paid holiday, the employee is entitled to be paid for the paid public holiday. To establish the rate at which the employee must be paid requires multiplying the employee’s hourly rate of pay by the average number of hours worked in a day by the employee in the 3 weeks immediately preceding the holiday.

Nova Scotia

The Labour Standards Code [37] gives employees who qualify six holidays with pay:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Nova Scotia Heritage Day
  • Good Friday, Canada Day
  • Labour Day
  • Christmas Day. 

Qualifying for Paid Holidays

To have a day off with pay for these holidays, an employee must:

  • be entitled to receive pay for at least 15 of the 30 calendar days before the holiday and
  • have worked on his/her last scheduled shift or day before the holiday and on the first scheduled shift or day after the holiday

First, during the 30 calendar days right before the holiday, the employee must be entitled to receive pay for 15 of those days. This does not mean that the employee must have worked 15 out of 30 days.

Second, the employee must have worked on his/her last scheduled shift or day before the holiday and on the first scheduled shift or day after the holiday.

 

Paying an Employee for a Holiday

If an employee qualifies for the holiday and is given the day off, the employer must pay a regular day’s pay for that holiday. If the employee’s hours of work change from day to day, or if wages change from pay to pay, the employer should average hours or wages over 30 days to calculate what to pay the employee for the holiday. 

Calculating Holiday Pay When the Employee Works on a Holiday

An employee who works on a holiday and who qualifies to be paid holiday pay is entitled to receive both of the following:

  • the amount the employee would have normally received for that day and
  • one and a half times the employee’s regular rate of  wages for the number of hours worked on that holiday

When the Employee Works in a Continuous Operation

Employees who work in a continuous operation can be paid for holidays in a different way.  A continuous operation is:

  • any industrial establishment in which production continues without stopping
  • any service that runs trucks and other vehicles
  • any telephone or other communications service
  • any service or production in which employees normally work on Sundays or public holidays

In a continuous operation, the employer can pay for holidays worked in one of two ways:

  • according to the calculation already described or
  • by paying straight time for the hours worked and giving the employee another day off with pay

Note:  An employee in a continuous operation will not be entitled to holiday pay if he/she does not report for work on the holiday after being called upon to work that day.

Back to top 

Employees Not Covered by the Rules

The holiday pay rules do not apply to the following employees:

  • employees who work under a collective agreement
  • most farm employees
  • real estate and car salespeople
  • commissioned salespeople who make sales at locations other than at the employer’s premises, except those on an established route
  • employees who work on a fishing boat
  • employees who work in the manufacturing or refining processes of the petrochemical industry
  • employees who do domestic service for or give personal care to an immediate family member in a private home and are working for the householder
  • employees who do domestic service for or give a personal care in a private home and are working for the householder for 24 hours or less per week
  • athletes while engaged in activities related to their athletic endeavour

Remembrance Day

An employee who works on Remembrance Day and who is entitled to receive wages for at least 15 of the 30 calendar days immediately before Remembrance Day may be entitled to receive another day off with pay. That day with pay may be taken at the end of the employee’s vacation or any other day the employee and employer may agree upon.

Ontario

Ontario has nine public holidays under the Employment Standards Act [Part X]

  • New Year's Day
  • Family Day
  • Good Friday
  • Victoria Day
  • Canada Day
  • Labour Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day (December 26)

Most employees who qualify are entitled to take these days off work and be paid public holiday pay.

Alternatively, the employee can agree in writing to work on the holiday and be paid:

public holiday pay plus premium pay for all hours worked on the public holiday and not receive another day off (called a “substitute” holiday);
or

be paid their regular wages for all hours worked on the public holiday and receive another substitute holiday for which they must be paid public holiday pay.

Some employees may be required to work on a public holiday. (See “Special rules for certain industries” later in this chapter.) While most employees are eligible for the public holiday entitlement, some employees work in jobs that are not covered by the public holiday provisions of the ESA.

The amount of public holiday pay to which an employee is entitled is all of the regular wages earned by the employee in the four work weeks before the work week with the public holiday plus all of the vacation pay payable to the employee with respect to the four work weeks before the work week with the public holiday, divided by 20.

Regular wages does not include any overtime or premium pay payable to an employee.

While some employers give their employees a holiday on Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, the first Monday in August, or Remembrance Day, the employer is not required to do so under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”).

Performing both covered and exempt work

Some employees perform more than one kind of work for an employer. Some of this work might be covered by the public holiday part of the ESA, while another kind of work might be exempt from public holiday coverage.

If an employee performs both kinds of work, exempt and covered, he or she is eligible for the public holiday entitlement with respect to a particular public holiday if at least half of the work performed in the work week of the public holiday is work that is covered.

Qualifying for public holiday entitlements

Generally, employees qualify for the public holiday entitlement unless they:

  • fail without reasonable cause to work all of their last regularly scheduled day of work before the public holiday or all of their first regularly scheduled day of work after the public holiday (this is called the “Last and First Rule”);
    or
  • fail without reasonable cause to work their entire shift on the public holiday if they agreed to or were required to work that day.

The “last and first rule”

The “last regularly scheduled day of work before the public holiday” and the “first regularly scheduled day of work after the public holiday” do not have to be the days right before and right after the holiday.

Reasonable cause

An employee is generally considered to have “reasonable cause” for missing work when something beyond his or her control prevents the employee from working. Employees are responsible for showing that they had reasonable cause for staying away from work. If they can do so, they still qualify for public holiday entitlements.

Public holiday pay

The amount of public holiday pay to which an employee is entitled is all of the regular wages earned by the employee in the four work weeks before the work week with the public holiday plus all of the vacation pay payable to the employee with respect to the four work weeks before the work week with the public holiday, divided by 20. The Ministry of Labour offers a public holiday pay calculator for your convenience.

When to include vacation pay in the calculation of public holiday pay

The amount of vacation pay payable to include in the calculation of public holiday pay depends on whether the employee is on vacation at any time during the four work weeks prior to the public holiday, and the manner in which the employee is to be paid vacation pay.

Vacation pay payable

If the employee is to be paid his or her vacation pay before he or she takes a vacation [in accordance with s. 36(1)] or on or before the payday for the period in which the vacation falls [in accordance with s.36(2)], vacation pay will be included in the calculation of public holiday pay if the employee was on vacation during that four work week period. If the employee who is paid in accordance with s. 36(1) or 36(2) was not on vacation during that period, no vacation pay will be included in the calculation.

If the employee is to be paid vacation pay with every pay cheque [in accordance with s. 36(3)] the amount of vacation pay to include in the calculation of public holiday pay will be at least 4% of all of the employee's wages earned during the four work week period. (Note that if an employee has a greater right or benefit with respect to vacation, such as 3 weeks of vacation with 6% of wages, then the "vacation pay payable" will be based on that greater percentage.)

If an employee is to receive his or her vacation pay in a lump sum on a certain date or dates [in accordance with s. 36(4)], vacation pay will be included in the calculation of public holiday pay only if that date or dates fall during the relevant four work week period.

Calculating the four work week period before the work week with a public holiday

The "four work weeks before the work week with the public holiday" does not necessarily mean the four calendar weeks immediately before the holiday. This period is based on the employer's work week.

Premium Pay

Premium pay is 1½ times an employee's regular rate of pay. If an employee is entitled to receive premium pay for work on a public holiday, he or she must be paid 1½ times his or her regular rate of pay for each hour worked.

Substitute holiday

A substitute holiday is another working day off work that is designated to replace a public holiday. Employees are entitled to be paid public holiday pay for a substitute holiday.

A substitute holiday must be scheduled for a day that is no later than three months after the public holiday for which it was earned, or, if the employee has agreed in writing, the substitute day off can be scheduled up to 12 months after the public holiday.

Entitlements for public holidays

Entitlements for public holidays vary depending on such things as whether the holiday falls on a working day or a non-working day and whether the employee works on the holiday. The different entitlements are set out below.

When a public holiday falls on a working day but the employee does not work

Most employees have the right to get the public holiday off and get paid public holiday pay.

When a public holiday falls on an employee's non-working day or during an employee's vacation

When a public holiday falls on a day that is not ordinarily a working day for an employee, or during the employee's vacation, the employee is entitled to either:

  • a substitute holiday off with public holiday pay;
    or
  • public holiday pay for the public holiday if the employee agrees to this in writing (in this case, the employee will not be given a substitute day off).

When an employee who qualifies for the day off has agreed in writing to work on a public holiday

Most employees have the right to get the public holiday off and get paid public holiday pay. However, if an employee agrees in writing to work on the public holiday, there are two options:

  • the employee is entitled to receive regular wages for all hours worked on the public holiday, plus a substitute day off work with public holiday pay;
    or
  • if the employee agrees in writing, he or she is entitled to public holiday pay for the public holiday plus premium pay for all hours worked on the public holiday. In this case, the employee will not be given a substitute day off.

When an employee agrees to work on a public holiday but fails to do so

If an employee has agreed in writing to work on the public holiday but does not do so – and does not have reasonable cause for not having done so – the employee has no right to public holiday pay or to a substitute day off with pay.

However, if the employee has reasonable cause for not working the public holiday, then entitlements will depend on which of the two options below the employee chose in exchange for agreeing to work on the public holiday:

  • if the employee had agreed in writing to work on the public holiday for regular wages plus a substitute day off with public holiday pay, the employee is entitled to a substitute day off work with public holiday pay;
    or
  • if the employee had agreed in writing to work on the public holiday for public holiday pay plus premium pay for each hour worked, he or she is entitled to be paid public holiday pay for the holiday. The employee is not entitled to receive any premium pay because he or she did not perform any work on the holiday.

When an employee works only some of the hours he or she agreed to work on a public holiday

If an employee has agreed in writing to work on the public holiday but works only some of the hours he or she agreed to work, and does not have reasonable cause for failing to work all of the hours, the employee is only entitled to receive premium pay for each hour worked on the holiday. The employee has no right to public holiday pay or a substitute day off work.

However, if the employee has reasonable cause for working only some of the hours he or she agreed to work on the public holiday, then:

the employee is entitled to his or her regular rate for all the hours worked plus a substitute day off work with public holiday pay;
or

if the employee had agreed in writing to work on the public holiday for public holiday pay plus premium pay for each hour worked, he or she is entitled to be paid public holiday pay plus premium pay for every hour worked on the holiday.

Special rules for certain industries

Special rules apply to employees who work in the following types of businesses:

  • hotels, motels and tourist resorts;
  • restaurants and taverns;
  • hospitals and nursing homes;
  • continuous operations (which are operations, or parts of operations, that do not stop or close more than once a week – such as an oil refinery, alarm-monitoring company or the games part of a casino if the games tables are open around the clock).

An employee who works in any of these businesses can be required to work on a public holiday without his or her agreement, but only if the holiday falls on a day that the employee would normally work and the employee is not on vacation.

If an employee is required to work, he or she is entitled to either:

  • his or her regular rate for the hours worked on the public holiday, plus a substitute day off work with public holiday pay;
    or
  • public holiday pay plus premium pay for each hour worked.

The employer chooses which of these options will apply.

An employee in the previously listed businesses who are required to work on a public holiday that falls on their ordinary working day but fails to do so, with reasonable cause, is entitled to:

  • a substitute holiday with public holiday pay;
    or
  • public holiday pay for the holiday.

The employer chooses which option will apply.

An employee in any of these businesses who are required to work on a public holiday that falls on their ordinary working day but who fails, with reasonable cause, to work some of the hours he or she was required to work on the holiday is entitled to either:

  • his or her regular rate for each hour worked on the holiday plus a substitute holiday with public holiday pay;
    or
  • public holiday pay for the holiday plus premium pay for each hour worked.

The employer chooses which option will apply.

An employee in any of these businesses who are required to work on a public holiday that falls on their ordinary working day but who fails, without reasonable cause, to work part or all of the public holiday is only entitled to receive premium pay for each hour worked on the holiday (if any). The employee has no right to public holiday pay or a substitute day off work.

Overtime calculations when an employee receives premium pay

Any hours worked on a public holiday that is compensated with premium pay are not included when determining whether an employee has worked any overtime hours.

If employment ends

Sometimes an employee's job comes to an end before the employee can take a substitute holiday with public holiday pay that he or she has earned. In this case, the employer must pay the employee's public holiday pay at the same time it pays the employee's final wages. This is so regardless of the reason the job came to an end, whether it is because the employee quit, was fired for good reason, or for some other reason.

Prince Edward Island

The Employment Standards Act [S.6] gives employees who qualify seven holidays with pay:

  • New Year's Day
  • Islander Day (3rd Monday in February)
  • Good Friday
  • Canada Day
  • When July 1 is a Sunday, the legal holiday is July 2.  Therefore, in Prince Edward Island, the paid holiday is July 2 in 2018. Employers are required to pay employees who qualify for holiday pay on July 2.
  • Labour Day
  • Remembrance Day
  • Christmas Day

Eligibility

Not all employees qualify for these holidays. In order to have a day off with pay for these holidays, an employee must:

  • be employed for/with the same employer for 30 calendar days prior to the holiday 
  • have earned pay on at least 15 of the 30 calendar days before the holiday 
  • have worked his/her last scheduled shift before the holiday and his/her first scheduled shift after the holiday

Exception

If an employer tells an employee not to report for work on his last scheduled workday immediately before the holiday, or the next scheduled work day after the holiday, the employee is still entitled to receive holiday pay.

What workers are not covered?

Workers who are not covered by the rules for holiday pay include:

  • salespersons whose income is derived primarily from the commission on sales 
  • farm labourer’s 

Paying an employee for a holiday

If an employee meets the three qualifications listed above and is given the day off, the employer must pay a regular day's pay for that holiday.

If the employee's hours of work change from day to day, or if wages change from pay to pay, the employer could average hours or wages over 30 previous days to calculate what to pay the employee for the holiday.

An employee who qualifies for the paid holiday but who is not scheduled to work on the paid holiday is entitled to another day off with pay.

How do I calculate a wage when the employee works on a holiday?

An employee who works on a holiday and who is qualified to be paid holiday pay is entitled to receive the following:

  • a regular day's pay; plus 
  • one and one-half times the employee's regular rate of wages for the number of hours worked on that holiday; 

or

  • regular rate of wages for the number of hours worked on that day; plus, 
  • another day off with the employee's regular day of pay on a date agreed upon by the employer and employee before the employee's next paid vacation

Quebec

The majority of Québec employees are entitled to an indemnity or a compensatory leave for each of the following statutory holidays as per the Act respecting Labor Standards [Division III]:

  • January 1st (New Year’s Day)
  • Good Friday or Easter Monday at the employer’s choice
  • The Monday preceding May 25th (National Patriots’ Day)
  • June 24th (National Holiday) — see the note below
  • July 1st. If this date falls on a Sunday: July 2nd
  • The 1st Monday in September (Labour Day)
  • The 2nd Monday in October (Thanksgiving)
  • December 25th (Christmas Day).

Employees are entitled to an indemnity or a compensatory leave at the employer’s choice.

Employees are also entitled to an indemnity or a compensatory leave if the holiday does fall within their regular schedule, at the employer’s choice.

This leave must be taken in the 3 weeks preceding or following the holiday, except in the case of the National Holiday.

Employees of the clothing industry are also entitled to the following statutory holidays:

  • January 2nd
  • Good Friday and Easter Monday.

[Employees working in a clothing store do not belong to this industry.]

The standard concerning statutory holidays does not apply:

  • to an employee who was absent from work without authorization or valid reason on the working day before or following the holiday. In this case, the employee will not receive the indemnity for this holiday and will not obtain a compensatory leave.
  • to an employee covered by a collective agreement or a decree that gives him at least 7 non-working days with pay, in addition to the National Holiday
  • to a non-unionized employee who receives a number of non-working days with pay, in addition to the National Holiday, equal to that stipulated in the collective agreement or decree of the unionized employees of the business for which they work.

Saskatchewan

There are 10 public (statutory) holidays per year in Saskatchewan (below) as per the Employment Act [Subdivision 7]

For most employees, these are days off with pay. Some employees may be required to work and special wage rates would apply.

If the employer’s establishment is normally open on Sunday, the public holiday pay rules apply to that Sunday. Where businesses are normally closed on Sunday, and New Year’s Day, Christmas Day, or Remembrance Day fall on a Sunday, the following Monday is observed as a public holiday. Canada Day is covered under Canada’s Holidays Act. Currently, federal legislation states when July 1 falls on a Sunday, the holiday is observed on Monday, July 2. When a public holiday falls on a Saturday, it is not observed on a different day.

2018

Public Holiday 

Observed On

New Year's Day

January 1

Family Day

February 19

Good Friday

March 30

Victoria Day

May 21

Canada Day

July 2*

Saskatchewan Day

August 6

Labour Day

September 3

Thanksgiving Day

October 8

Remembrance Day

November 12*

Christmas Day

December 25

*Canada DayFederal legislation states when July 1 falls on a Sunday, the holiday is observed on Monday, July 2.

*Remembrance Day: As per section 29 of The Employment Standards Regulations, if your establishment is normally open on a Sunday, Remembrance Day is observed on Sunday, November 11. If your establishment is normally closed on Sunday, Remembrance Day is observed on Monday, November 12.

2019

Public Holiday 

Observed On

New Year's Day

January 1

Family Day

February 18

Good Friday

April 19

Victoria Day

May 20

Canada Day

July 1

Saskatchewan Day

August 5

Labour Day

September 2

Thanksgiving Day

October 14

Remembrance Day

November 11

Christmas Day

December 25

 

Working on a Public Holiday

Some employees may be required to work on a public holiday. Employees, including managers, who work on a public holiday, are entitled to both public holiday pay and a premium pay of 1.5 times their hourly wage for each hour worked. Premium pay is paid on top of the employee’s public holiday pay for that day.

If an employer schedules an employee to work on a public holiday, the employee will receive premium pay, at 1.5 times their hourly wage, for all hours worked. However, if the amount of the premium pay for the hours worked is less than what the employee would have received for minimum call-out pay, the employee will be paid for three hours of work at their hourly wage. The employee scheduled to work on a public holiday is paid the greater amount of premium pay or minimum call-out pay.

Exceptions

Employees operating well drilling rigs are exempt from premium pay and only earn their regular hourly rate when working on a public holiday. They are entitled to public holiday pay for that day, plus any applicable overtime earned on the holiday.

 

 Yukon

  • January 1: New Year’s Day
  • March 30: Good Friday
  • May 21: Victoria Day
  • June 21: National Aboriginal Day
  • July 1: Canada Day
  • August 20: Discovery Day
  • September 3: Labour Day
  • October 8: Thanksgiving Day
  • November 11: Remembrance Day
  • December 25: Christmas Day

Statutory holidays are days on which qualified employees receive a day off with holiday pay. [Employment Standards Act, Part 5]

Employees get paid on Statutory Holidays

If the Employee meets the following criteria, they qualify to be paid for not working on a statutory holiday.

  • They are employed 30 calendar days before the holiday.
  • They must work their last scheduled shift before the holiday and their first scheduled shift after the holiday, unless their absence is permitted by the Employment Standards Act. This could include things like sick leave or a day off that they requested and were given.
  • They are required to work on the holiday if called to work, but would be entitled to additional pay depending on whether they work regular hours and how they’re paid.

Statutory holidays that fall on an employee's day off

If a statutory holiday falls on the Employee’s day off, the first working day immediately following the holiday becomes their statutory holiday.

Statutory holiday pay for employees

The amount the Employee is paid depends on whether they work regular hours and how they’re paid.

Regular hourly rate

If the Employee works regular hours and are paid an hourly rate, they must be paid the equivalent of their regular rate of pay for their normal hours of work. For example, if you work 8 hours a day, and this never varies, you are entitled to 8 hours pay.

Regular monthly or weekly salary

If the Employee works regular hours and the Employee is paid a salary, the Employee must be given a day off without a reduction in your normal salary.

Commission or piecework

If the Employee works regular hours and the Employee paid a commission or on a piece-work basis, the Employee must be paid their average daily wage, exclusive of overtime or bonus, earned in the week of the holiday.

Irregular hours

If the Employee works less than the standard hours or works irregular hours, they must be paid general holiday pay of 10% of the wages (excluding vacation pay) that they earned for the hours worked in the 2 calendar weeks immediately prior to the week in which the holiday falls. This includes any overtime earned in that period.

Payment options for employees working on a statutory holiday

The Employee may be paid at the applicable overtime rate for all hours worked on the statutory holiday; or

They may be paid at your regular rate for hours worked on the statutory holiday and be given a day off. This may be added to their annual vacation or they may be granted a day off at a time convenient to you and your employer.

Note: You are entitled to both general holiday pay and the applicable overtime if you work on the statutory holiday, even if you've worked for an employer for less than 30 days.

Northwest Territories

An employee is entitled to a holiday with pay for each of the following holidays, whether it falls on a day of work or not:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Good Friday
  • Victoria Day
  • National Aboriginal Day
  • Canada Day
  • the first Monday in August
  • Labour Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Remembrance Day
  • Christmas Day.

[Section 22, Employment Standards Act]

Another holiday may be substituted for a statutory holiday under a collective agreement if the parties to the collective agreement notify the Employment Standards Officer in writing of the day to be substituted.

On application by an employer, the Employment Standards Officer may approve the substitution of another holiday for a statutory holiday for employees not represented by a trade union, or not provided for under a collective agreement with regard to statutory holidays, with the consent of a majority of those employees.

Payment for Statutory Holiday

There are several conditions employees are required to meet to qualify for statutory holiday pay.

  • An employee must have worked for the employer for 30 days within the 12 months prior to the holiday.
  • An employee must report to work on their last scheduled workday prior to the holiday and their next scheduled workday following the holiday.
  • An employee must report to work on the holiday if they are scheduled, or called to work.
  • An employee on pregnancy or parental leave is not entitled to statutory holiday pay while they are on leave.
  • Part-time employees are entitled to statutory holiday pay once they meet the conditions set out above. 

If an employee meets all the conditions for entitlement to statutory holiday pay and has the day off, he or she is entitled to receive an average day’s pay for the holiday.

If an employee meets all the conditions and works on a statutory holiday, he or she must receive payment for the hours that he or she worked at the rate of time and a half, plus an average day’s pay.

As an alternative, the employer may transfer the holiday to another day giving the employee a day off with pay. 

Overtime is paid after 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week.  During a week containing a statutory holiday, overtime is calculated after 8 hours per day and 32 regular hours in that week.  The payment for the statutory holiday is calculated separately. 

[Section 23 & 24, the Employment Standards Act]


 

 

Nunavut

Employees are eligible for a day off with pay under the Labour Standards Act [Part IV] for the following days:

  • New Years Day
  • Good Friday
  • Victoria Day
  • Canada Day
  • The first Monday in August
  • Labour Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Remembrance Day
  • Christmas Day

Eligibility

Where the Employer is not required to pay an Employee:

  • Where the Employer has not worked for the same Employer for a total of 30 days during the preceding twelve months prior to the Holiday
  • Where the Employer did not report to work on that day after having been called to work on that day
  • Where, without the consent of his or her employer, the employee has not reported for work on either his or her last regular working day preceding or following the general Holiday;
  • Where the Employee is on Pregnancy or Parental Leave

Payment

If an Employee do not work on a Holiday, the Employee to entitled to a regular day’s pay.

If the Employee worked on a General Holiday, the Employee is entitled to either another day off work with pay or a normal day’s plus (1.5) times his/her regular rate of pay for the time worked on the General Holiday