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Public Holidays


How many public holidays are there?

There are 6 public holidays throughout the year.

These are:

New Years’ 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 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?

Where an employee works on a paid public holiday, they are 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 and the benefit they receive is one of their choice.

(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 the 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 days pay.

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

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 What entitlement to paid public holiday wages, if any, does the employee have who does not work on the paid holiday have?

If the employee has:

  • been employed by the employer for at least 30 calendar days prior to the paid holiday, and
  • worked the shift they were scheduled to work by their employer prior to and after the paid holiday.

He/she 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?

First, establish whether or not the employee is eligible for paid public holiday benefits by finding out whether or not the employee has:

  • been employed by the employer for at least 30 days prior to the paid holiday, and
  • worked his/her scheduled shifts prior to and after the paid holiday.

If these criteria are met, the employee has the right to be paid for the paid public holiday.

To establish the rate at which the employee should 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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