Get a Grip on Statutory Holiday Pay Rules and Calculations

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Learn about an employee’s eligibility, entitlements and wages when they work on provincial holidays

There are two types of statutory holidays in Canada, namely federal and provincial. Federal refers to provisions outlined in the Canada Labour Code, Part III for the nine yearly paid holidays that are applicable to all provinces. Provincial refers to territorial-specific, paid holidays, where there are 13 jurisdictions and they vary greatly.

It is also important to make the distinction between statutory holiday pay and vacation pay. Statutory holiday pay rates refer to an employee’s wage and entitlements when they have to work on public holidays. Vacation pay refers to annual leave when employees are paid but not working.

Here’s a guide, by alphabetical jurisdiction, to the rules if you’re staying open on holidays and you have hourly employees. Now you can add “Payroll Maestro” to the many hats you already wear as a small business owner.

 

Alberta >

Businesses are not required by law to close during the statutory holidays.

To be eligible to work and receive stat pay, the employee must have:

  • Worked at least 30 days in the last 12 months (excluding annual leave)
  • Worked the allocated shift before and after the holiday

Eligible Pay Rate and/or Entitlement: Daily wage + 1.5 times regular rate OR regular rate + one day paid leave


 

British Columbia >

Businesses are not required to close during the statutory holidays.

To be eligible to work and receive stat pay, the employee must have:

  • Been employed with the business for at least 30 days
  • Worked at least 15 of the 30 calendar days in the last 12 months

Eligible Pay Rate and/or Entitlement:

  • If the holiday falls on a regular workday: Daily wage + 1.5 times regular rate for the first 12 hours, and 2 times regular rate for additional hours
  • If the holiday falls on a non-working day: The above rates + one day paid leave (taken before the next annual vacation)

 

Manitoba >

Only the following types of business can stay open on a holiday (or Sunday):

  • Establishments with educational, recreational or amusement purposes
  • Laundromats
  • Pharmacies
  • Restaurants
  • Retail stores selling nursery or garden supplies and accessories; produce; or gasoline and related goods for motor vehicles
  • Tourism and recreational facilities
  • Vehicle rental, repair and service shops

To be eligible to work and receive stat pay, the employee must have:

  • Worked the scheduled shift before and after the holiday

Eligible Pay Rate and/or Entitlement:

  • If the holiday falls on a regular workday: Daily wage + 1.5 times regular rate (additional one day paid leave is subject to the agreement with employer)
  • If the holiday falls on a non-working day: One day paid leave (taken before the next annual vacation)

Special Note:

If the employee works on Remembrance Day: Half of the workday at 1.5 times x regular rate.


 

New Brunswick >

Retail businesses must be closed on Sundays and observe the following holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Good Friday
  • Victoria Day
  • Canada Day
  • New Brunswick Day
  • Labour Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Remembrance Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day

To be eligible to work, the employee must have:

  • Worked at least 90 calendar days in the 12 months prior to the holiday
  • Worked the scheduled shift before and after the holiday

Eligible Pay Rate and/or Entitlement:

  • If the holiday falls on a regular workday: Daily wage + 1.5 times regular rate (additional one day paid leave is subject to the agreement with employer)
  • If the holiday falls on a non-working day: One day paid leave (taken before the next annual vacation)

 

Newfoundland and Labrador >

Retail businesses must be closed on Sundays and observe the following holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Good Friday
  • Victoria Day
  • Canada Day
  • Labour Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Remembrance Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day
  • Regatta Day, only in St. John’s and Harbour Grace
  • Any day fixed by council as a public holiday in any other town or city

To be eligible to work, the employee must have:

  • Worked at least 30 calendar days prior to the holiday
  • Worked the scheduled shift before and after the holiday

Eligible Pay Rate and/or Entitlement:

  • If the holiday falls on a regular workday: 2 times regular rate OR regular pay for hours worked + one day paid leave within the next 30 days. If the shift is shorter than a regular working day, the employer is required to pay the employee a regular day’s wage + regular wage x hours worked.
  • If the holiday falls on a non-working day: Employee will receive one day paid leave

 

Northwest Territories > and Nunavut >

Businesses are not required to close, but most operate on reduced hours.

To be eligible to work, the employee must have:

  • Worked at least 30 calendar days in the 12 months prior to the holiday
  • Worked the scheduled shift before and after the holiday

Eligible Pay Rate and/or Entitlement:

  • If the holiday falls on a regular workday: Stat pay + 1.5 times regular rate OR regular pay for hours worked + one day paid leave (taken before the next annual vacation)
  • If the holiday falls on a non-working day: Employee will receive stat pay OR one day paid leave (taken before the next annual vacation)

 

Nova Scotia >

Retail businesses must be closed on Sundays and observe the following holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Nova Scotia Heritage Day
  • Good Friday
  • Victoria Day
  • Canada Day
  • Labour Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Remembrance Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day

To be eligible to work, the employee must have:

  • Worked at least 15 of the 30 calendar days prior to the holiday
  • Worked the scheduled shift before and after the holiday

Eligible Pay Rate and/or Entitlement:

  • If the holiday falls on a regular workday: Stat pay + 1.5 times regular rate OR regular pay for hours worked + one day paid leave
  • If the holiday falls on a non-working day: Employee will get the next working day off with pay OR one paid day off of the employee’s choosing

 

Ontario >

Retail businesses must be closed on Sundays and observe the following holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Family Day
  • Good Friday
  • Victoria Day
  • Canada Day
  • Labour Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Remembrance Day
  • Christmas Day

To be eligible to work and receive stat pay, the employee must have:

  • Worked the scheduled shift before and after the holiday

Eligible Pay Rate and/or Entitlement:

  • If the holiday falls on a regular workday: Stat pay + 1.5 times regular rate OR stat pay + one day paid leave (taken no later than three months after the holiday)
  • If the holiday falls on a non-working day: Employee will receive stat pay OR one day paid leave (taken before the next annual vacation)

 

Prince Edward Island >

Retail businesses must be closed on Sundays and observe the following holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Islander Day
  • Good Friday
  • Canada Day
  • Labour Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Remembrance Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day

To be eligible to work, the employee must have:

  • Been employed for at least 30 calendar days prior to the holiday
  • Worked at least 15 of the 30 calendar days prior to the holiday
  • Worked the scheduled shift before and after the holiday

Eligible Pay Rate and/or Entitlement:

  • If the holiday falls on a regular workday = Stat pay + 1.5 times regular rate for hours worked OR regular rate for hours worked + one day paid leave
  • If the holiday falls on a non-working day: Employee will receive one day paid leave (taken no later than the next annual vacation)

 

Quebec >

Retail businesses must be closed on Sundays and observe the following holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Easter Sunday
  • National Holiday/Fête Nationale
  • Canada Day
  • Labour Day
  • Christmas Day

To be eligible to work, the employee must have:

  • Worked the scheduled shift before and after the holiday

Eligible Pay Rate and/or Entitlement:

  • If the holiday falls on regular workday: Stat pay + 1.5 times regular rate for hours worked OR regular rate for hours worked + one day paid leave* (taken no later than three weeks after the holiday)
  • If the holiday falls on a non-working day: Employee will receive stat pay OR get one day paid leave (taken before the next annual vacation)

*For employees who work on National Day, the paid leave must be the workday immediately before or after the holiday.


 

Saskatchewan >

Businesses are not required to close, but most operate on reduced hours.

To be eligible to work, the employee must have worked at least four weeks prior to the holiday.

Eligible Pay Rate and/or Entitlement:

  • If the holiday falls on a regular workday: Stat pay + 1.5 times regular rate for hours worked
  • If the holiday falls on a non-working day: Regular day wage + 1.5 times regular rate for hours worked.
  • When New Year’s Day, Christmas Day and Remembrance Day fall on a Sunday, the next Monday is a day off with pay.

 

Yukon >

Businesses are not required to close, but most operate on reduced hours.

To be eligible to work, the employee must have:

  • Been employed for at least 30 calendar days prior to the holiday
  • Worked the scheduled shift before and after the holiday
  • Not been on unpaid leave for 14 consecutive days prior to the holiday, with the exception of maternity leave

Eligible Pay Rate and/or Entitlement:

  • If the holiday falls on a regular workday: Stat pay + 1.5 times regular rate for hours worked OR regular day wage + one day paid leave
  • If the holiday falls on a non-working day: One day paid leave (taken on the next regular working day)

In managing your workforce, it’s always to go with the “greater rights or benefits”. This means providing more than just the minimum standards set out in the Employment Standards Act. Then be sure to have clear policies in place and consult professionals in determining what will work best for your business and employees.


 

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Disclaimer: TSheets does not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only and was accurate at the time of publication. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.

5 Comments

  1. Saurabh Gupta says:

    A must read, thanks for providing the valuable information

  2. […] is important not to confuse vacation pay for statutory holiday pay. Vacation pay is defined as “a percentage of wages of an employee during the year of employment in […]

  3. […] Sunday, the country will be awash in red and white to celebrate its 151st birthday. Canada Day is a statutory holiday in all provinces and territories, and while many businesses will be giving their employees the day […]

  4. Hannah says:

    This information seems incorrect to me. New Brunswick businesses are not closed on Sundays. Is this old information?

    • Dottie Chong says:

      Hi Hannah, thank you for your comment. The information is based on the ‘Prescribed Day of Rest’ for public and statutory holidays on the GNB site, where it states: If a prescribed day of rest falls on a Sunday, then the retail business would have to remain closed. But “municipalities can put in place a by-law which allows the operation of retail businesses on Sunday, as well as regulate the hours of operation”, so the best route to certainty is to check with the local government. We hope this answers your question.:)

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