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Public Holidays

How many public holidays are there?

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.

(section 14. of the Labour Standards Act)

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If an employee works on a paid public holiday, what are they entitled to receive?

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.

(section 17.(1) of the Labour Standards Act)

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What if the employee works a lesser number of hours on the paid public holiday than they would normally have worked?

If an employee is required to work less 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.

(section 17.(2) of the Labour Standards Act)

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Is an employee entitled to pay on a paid public holiday if they do not work on the paid holiday?

Yes, 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.

Then the employee is entitled to an average day's pay for the paid public holiday even though no work was performed on the day.

(section 15(2) of the Labour Standards Act)

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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.

(section 16. of the Labour Standards Act)

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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.

Then the employee has the right 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.

(section 15.(3) of the Labour Standards Act)

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