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Working a stat holiday? Here’s what you need to know

Do you know what you are entitled to if you are one of those employees that must work a statutory holiday?.
Do you know what you are entitled to if you are one of those employees that must work a statutory holiday?. File/Getty Images

Editor’s note: This article excluded Prince Edward Island when it was first posted. It has now been added. 

TORONTO – As most businesses across Canada prepare to close up shop for the holidays and give staff a break, some need to keep business going as usual and require employees to work. But do you know what you are entitled to if you are one of those employees that must work a statutory holiday?

Christmas Day and New Year’s Day are stat holidays across Canada. Boxing Day (Dec. 26) is listed as a stat holiday in Ontario and Nunavut, with federal and bank employees also observing the day as a holiday. Jan. 2 is a holiday in Quebec for those who work in the clothing industry.

While most provinces must pay a premium rate to employees who work a stat holiday, each province handles holidays differently. Here’s a look at each province and territory across Canada.

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BC

In BC, employees are eligible for stat holiday pay if they have been employed for 30 calendar days and have worked, or had earnings, on 15 of the 30 days before the stat holiday. However, employees who work under an averaging agreement, which permits hours of work to be averaged over a period of up to four weeks, do not have to meet the 15-day minimum requirement.

Those who are eligible and are required to work on a stat holiday must be paid at least time-and-a-half for the first 12 hours worked and double-time for any hours after that plus a day’s pay. Eligible employees who are not required to work on a stat must be paid at least an average day’s pay. An employee who is not eligible, but who is required to work on a stat, can be paid a regular work day and is not entitled to an average day’s pay if the stat holiday falls on a day off.

For more on stat holidays and pay in BC, visit labour.gov.bc.ca.

Alberta

Employees in Alberta are eligible for stat holiday pay if they have worked at least 30 days in the preceding 12 months for the employer and have worked their scheduled shifts before and after the holiday (unless other arrangements with the employer have been made). Employees must also work on the holiday if requested.

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Eligible employees who normally work the day the holiday falls on and have it off will receive a regular day of pay. An employee who normally works the day the holiday falls on and is requested to work the holiday will receive their regular day of pay plus time-and-a-half for each hour worked. A second option is the employee receives a regular day of pay plus another paid day off. Employees who do not normally work the day the holiday falls on and are asked to work will receive time-and-a-half on top of their regular hourly wage. Unless otherwise arranged, employees who do not normally work the day the holiday falls on and are not requested to work on the holiday will not be paid for the holiday.

For more on stat holidays and pay in Alberta, visit work.alberta.ca.

Saskatchewan

Holiday pay in Saskatchewan is calculated based on five per cent of an employees wages earned during the four weeks prior to the holiday (example: if an employee earned $3,000 over the four weeks before the holiday their holiday pay would be $150). Hourly paid construction workers, however, get four per cent of their wages for the year, not including overtime. This is paid out on Dec. 31 of the year the holiday falls in. Employers in Saskatchewan can also request a permit to observe a stat holiday on a different day.

Employees who work on a stat holiday receive a pay rate of time-and-a-half on top of their holiday pay. Employees operating well-drilling rigs receive their holiday pay on top of their regular pay only. Minimum call-out rules apply on stat holidays, meaning that if premium pay would be less than what the employee would make in three hours of normal pay, they will be paid the greater wage.

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For more on stat holidays and pay in Saskatchewan, visit saskatchewan.ca.

Manitoba

In Manitoba there are no restrictions on who is eligible for holiday pay. Employees who work the same amount of hours on a weekly basis are paid a regular day of pay for the holiday. Employees who work varying hours have their holiday pay calculated at five per cent of their wages over the course of the four weeks prior (example: if an employee earned $3,000 over the four weeks before the holiday their holiday pay would be $150). Holiday pay for employees in the construction industry is calculated at four per cent of their gross earnings and is added to each pay.

Employees who work on a stat holiday are paid a rate of time-and-a-half of their regular hourly wage. An employee will not be paid holiday pay if they are scheduled to work on a holiday and are absent without their employer’s permission or are absent without their employer’s permission from their last scheduled shift before the holiday or first scheduled shift after the holiday. Employers can choose to observe the holiday on a different day under a collective agreement or with the written agreement of the majority of employees.

For more on stat holidays and pay in Manitoba, visit gov.mb.ca.

Ontario

Most employees in Ontario qualify for holiday pay unless they are absent from their last scheduled shift before the holiday or first scheduled shift after the holiday. An employee scheduled to work a holiday who is absent will not be paid for the holiday. There are no restrictions on how long an employee has to work for an employer to be eligible for holiday pay.

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Employees in Ontario who work a public holiday are entitled to receive a pay rate of time-and-a-half of their regular wage or a substitute holiday with holiday pay. Holiday pay is calculated based on how much an employee has earned the four weeks prior to the holiday per day (example: an employee has earned $2,000 during the four weeks before the holiday their holiday pay would be $100).

For more on stat holidays and pay in Ontario, visit labour.gov.on.ca.

Quebec

Employees in Quebec are eligible for holiday pay unless they miss the day before or following the holiday without permission from their employer or have specific rules under a union’s collective agreement that relates to stat holiday pay.

An employee scheduled to work a stat holiday in Quebec will receive double time their regular wage or their regular wage plus a day off with pay.

For more on stat holidays and pay in Quebec, visit cnt.gouv.qc.ca.

Nova Scotia

Employees in Nova Scotia are eligible for holiday pay if they have worked at least 15 of the last 30 calendar days before the holiday and have worked their last scheduled shift before the holiday and first scheduled after the holiday. An employee who works a regular shift will receive a full day’s pay for the holiday. An employee who works a varying shift will be paid for an average of their hours or wages for the last 30 days.

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An employee who works on a stat holiday in Nova Scotia will receive a pay rate of time-and-a-half of their regular wage plus holiday pay.

For more on stat holidays and pay in Nova Scotia, visit novascotia.ca.

New Brunswick

All regular full-time, part-time and seasonal employees who have been employed for more than 90 days, as well as temp employees with a minimum of six months continuous service are eligible for statutory holiday pay in New Brunswick. Employees who work a regular shift are paid a day’s wages for holiday pay. Employees who work varying shifts have their holiday pay based on the wages they earned during the 30 days before the holiday.

Employees who work a stat holiday will receive time-and-a-half of their regular rate of pay.

For more on stat holidays and pay in New Brunswick, visit gnb.ca.

Newfoundland and Labrador

All employees who have been employed for at least 30 calendar days before a holiday and have worked their last scheduled shift before the holiday and first scheduled shift after the holiday are entitled to an average day’s pay for the holiday.

Employees who are scheduled to work the holiday will receive twice their regular hourly wage or an additional paid day off within 30 days of the holiday.

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For more on stat holidays and pay in Newfoundland and Labrador, visit gov.nl.ca.

Prince Edward Island

All employees who have been employed for at least 30 calendar days before a holiday, have been paid for 15 of the last 30 days and have worked their last scheduled shift before the holiday and first scheduled shift after the holiday are entitled to an average day’s pay for the holiday. Salespeople whose income is earned from commission and farm labourers do not qualify for holiday pay.

Employees in PEI who work a stat holiday are entitled to receive a pay rate of time-and-a-half of their regular wage or their regular wage plus another  paid day off paid.

For more on stat holidays and pay in Prince Edward Island, visit gov.pe.ca.

Yukon

If an employee in the Yukon works a statutory holiday they are entitled to overtime pay for all hours worked or their regular rate of pay plus an additional paid day off.

Nunavut and Northwest Territories

In Nunavut and the Northwest Territories an employee who works a statutory holiday is entitled to a pay rate of time-and-a-half their regular wage or their regular rate of pay plus an additional paid day off.

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-with files from Amy Judd