Calculating statutory holiday pay

Requirements differ depending on jurisdiction
By Annie Chong
|Canadian Payroll Reporter|Last Updated: 08/07/2013

Question: Is there a special statutory holiday pay formula used to calculate pay for employees who work on a holiday if they are entitled to take the day off with pay? We operate normal business hours Monday to Friday.

Answer: It depends on the jurisdiction in which the employee works, since statutory holidays are covered under the Canada Labour Code (for federally regulated employees) and provincial/territorial employment and labour standards laws. Here is a brief outline of the requirements for employees entitled to be paid for a statutory holiday who work on the holiday:

Canada Labour Code*

• Regular daily wages plus 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate for the hours worked.

Alberta

• Average daily wages plus 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate for each hour worked that day, or
• Regular wages for each hour worked that day, plus a day off with pay at least equal to the employee’s average daily wage. The day off must not be later than the employee’s next annual vacation and must be on a day that would normally be a working day for the employee.

“Average daily wage” refers to an employee’s daily wage averaged over the days she worked in the nine weeks immediately before a statutory holiday. If an employee has not been employed by the same employer for at least nine work weeks, “average daily wage” refers to the employee’s daily wage averaged over the number of days the employee has worked for the employer.

British Columbia

• Average day’s pay plus 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate for the first 12 hours worked and two times the regular rate for hours worked in excess of 12.

An “average day’s pay” is calculated by dividing the employee’s total wages (including wages commissions, vacation pay, excluding overtime pay) in the 30 calendar days before the statutory holiday by the number of days worked.

Manitoba*

• Statutory holiday pay plus 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate for the hours worked.

Statutory holiday pay must be at least the same amount as the employee’s wages for regular hours of work on a regular workday in the pay period in which the employee receives a day off for the holiday or, in which the holiday occurs, if the employee doesn’t receive a day off. If the employee’s wages vary, statutory holiday pay is calculated as five per cent of the employee’s gross wages in the four weeks right before the holiday.

New Brunswick*

• Regular wages for the day plus 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate for the hours worked.

Newfoundland and Labrador

• Two times the employee’s wages for a normal working day, or
• A day off work with pay to be taken within 30 days after the statutory holiday, or
• An extra day of vacation with pay.

Employees who are required to work on a statutory holiday for a number of hours that is less than the number of hours that they would work on a normal working day shall be paid their normal wages for the number of hours worked, plus the wages they would have earned if the day were a normal working day.

Northwest Territories:

• Statutory holiday pay plus 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate for the hours worked, or
• Statutory holiday pay plus a day off with pay. The day off must be provided not later than the employee’s next annual vacation or termination of the employment, whichever comes first.

If the employee’s wages are calculated based on time worked, statutory holiday pay must be at least equal to employee’s regular wages for a normal work day. For other employees, statutory holiday pay must be at least equal to the employee’s average daily wages in the four weeks the employee worked immediately before the week in which the holiday falls.

Nova Scotia*

• Statutory holiday pay (regular day’s pay) plus 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate for the hours worked.

Nunavut

• Regular daily wages plus 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate for the hours worked, or
• Regular daily wages for the hours worked plus a day off with pay. The day off with pay must be provided no later than the next annual vacation or termination of employment, whichever comes first.

Ontario*

• Regular wages for each hour worked on the statutory holiday plus a substitute day off with statutory holiday pay or,
• Statutory holiday pay plus 1.5 times the employee’s regular hourly rate for each hour worked on the statutory holiday if the employee and the employer agree in writing.

“Statutory holiday pay” refers to the total amount of regular wages earned and vacation pay payable to the employee in the four work weeks before the work week that contains the statutory holiday, divided by 20.

Prince Edward Island

• Regular day’s pay plus 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate for the hours worked, or
• Regular wages for the hours worked plus a day off with pay. The day off must be a day to which both the employer and the employee agree and must be given no later than the employee’s next annual vacation.

Quebec

• Statutory holiday pay plus the employee’s regular rate for the hours worked, or
• Regular rate for the hours worked plus a day off with statutory holiday pay. The day off must be provided within three weeks before or after the holiday.

Statutory holiday pay is calculated as 1/20 of the wages earned during the four complete weeks of pay before the week of the holiday, excluding overtime. For employees paid by commission, statutory holiday pay is 1/60 of the wages earned during the 12 complete weeks of pay before the week of the holiday.

Saskatchewan*

• Statutory holiday pay plus 1.5 times the employee’s regular daily wages for the hours worked.

Statutory holiday pay equals 1/20 of the employee’s regular wages for the four weeks immediately before the holiday, excluding overtime.

Yukon

• Regular daily wages plus 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate for the hours worked on the day, or
• Regular rate of pay for the hours worked, plus a day off with pay. The day can be added to the employee’s annual vacation or be taken at another time agreed to by both the employee and the employer.

* Please note different rules apply under the Canada Labour Code and in Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Saskatchewan if the employee works in a continuous operation (a business that normally operate seven days a week, such as hospitals or hotels)

Annie Chong is the manager of the payroll consulting group at Carswell, a Thomson Reuters business. She can be reached at annie.chong@thomsonreuters.com or (416) 298-5085.

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