Nova Scotia adds holiday

Seven provinces now require paid holiday in February
By Sheila Brawn
|Canadian Payroll Reporter|Last Updated: 02/19/2015

This month, employees in Nova Scotia will have a statutory holiday in February for the first time. It joins six other provinces in establishing a February holiday. A decade ago, only Alberta had one.

Here is an overview of general holiday requirements in jurisdictions with a February holiday. For specific industries or types of work, different rules may apply. Check the legislation for the applicable jurisdiction.

Nova Scotia:
Heritage Day, Feb. 16

Eligibility: Employees are eligible for a paid holiday if they are entitled to receive pay for a minimum of 15 of the 30 calendar days before the holiday and they work their last scheduled shift before the holiday and their first scheduled shift after it.

Employees must also be covered by the holiday provisions in the Labour Standards Act. Some unionized workers may not get the holiday unless their collective agreement provides for it or automatically includes it.

Holiday pay: Pay regular daily wages for the holiday. If wages vary, average the hours over 30 days to calculate the pay.

Working on the holiday: If employees are eligible for a paid holiday, pay them at least their normal pay plus 1.5 times their regular rate for each hour worked on the holiday. If employees are not eligible for the holiday, pay them their regular rate for the hours worked.

Calculating overtime: If an employee works on the holiday, include the hours worked in overtime calculations. Otherwise, exclude them.

Prince Edward Island:
Islander Day, Feb. 16

Eligibility: Employees are eligible for a paid holiday if they are covered under the holiday provisions of the province’s Employment Standards Act and have worked for their employer for at least 30 calendar days before the holiday and have earned pay on at least 15 days in the 30 calendar days right before.

Employees are not eligible if they work under a contract of service that allows them to choose whether to work.

Employees can lose their eligibility if they do not work their regularly scheduled workday before and after the holiday, without reasonable cause, unless they had their employer’s consent to be absent. Employees can also lose their entitlement if they agree to work on Islander Day and then fail to show up without reasonable cause.

Holiday pay: Pay regular wages for the day. If an employee’s wages vary, average the employee’s hours or wages over the 30 days before the holiday to calculate pay.

Working on the holiday: If employees are eligible for a paid holiday, pay them their regular daily wage plus 1.5 times their regular rate for the hours worked on the holiday or pay them their regular wages for the hours worked and give them another day off with pay by their next annual vacation. The employer and the employee must agree on the day. If employees are not eligible, pay them their regular wages for the hours worked.

Calculating overtime: The Employment Standards Act does not specifically address this issue; however, the Employment Standards Board’s policy is to exclude stat holidays (worked or not worked) when calculating overtime for the week in which the holiday occurs.

Ontario: Family Day, Feb. 16

Eligibility: Most employees covered by the statutory holiday provisions of the Employment Standards Act are eligible. There are exceptions for employers who give workers 10 or more paid holidays a year. Contact Employment Standards for more information.

Employees can lose their right to a paid holiday if they fail, without reasonable cause, to work all of their last regularly scheduled workday before the holiday or all of their first regularly scheduled workday after the holiday. Employees can also lose their eligibility if they fail, without reasonable cause, to work their entire shift on Family Day after agreeing to work.

Holiday pay: Pay statutory holiday pay for the day. This is the total amount of regular wages the employee earned in the four workweeks ending just before the workweek in which Family Day falls, divided by 20. Employers may have to include vacation pay when calculating holiday pay, depending on whether the employee took vacation in the four-week period and the way the employer pays vacation pay. Contact Employment Standards for more information.

Working on the holiday: If employees are eligible for a paid holiday, pay them their regular wages for each hour worked on Family Day and give them another day off with statutory holiday pay. If the employees and the employer agree in writing, the employer can, instead, pay employees 1.5 times their regular rate (called premium pay) for hours worked on Family Day, as well as pay statutory holiday pay. If employees are not eligible for a paid holiday, pay them 1.5 times their regular rate.

Calculating overtime: If an employee works on Family Day and receives premium pay for those hours, do not include the hours worked in overtime calculations. If an employee receives regular pay for the hours plus a substitute day off, include the hours in overtime calculations.

Manitoba: Louis Riel Day, Feb. 16

Eligibility: All employees covered by the statutory holiday provisions of the Employment Standards Code are eligible for paid statutory holidays. Employees can disqualify if they do not report for work on the holiday after being required or scheduled to do so or if absent on the first scheduled work day before or after the holiday, unless the employer consented.

Holiday Pay: Pay a regular day’s wages for the holiday. If wages vary, holiday pay must equal five per cent of total wages, excluding overtime, in the four workweeks immediately before.

Working on the holiday: If employees are eligible for a paid holiday, pay them1.5 times their regular rate for the hours worked on Louis Riel Day, plus their regular daily wages. Pay non-eligible employees 1.5 times their regular rate on the holiday.

Calculating overtime: Employment Standards considers wages paid for a holiday to be hours worked for determining overtime entitlements and must be included when calculating an employee’s hours of work. Contact Employment Standards for more information.

Saskatchewan:
Family Day, Feb. 16

Eligibility: Employees are eligible for a paid holiday if they are covered by the Saskatchewan Employment Act’s statutory holiday provisions.

Holiday pay: Pay five per cent of the wages employees earned in the four weeks before the holiday, excluding overtime. Wages include vacation pay and public holiday pay paid in the four-week period.

Working on the holiday: If employees are eligible for a paid holiday, pay them holiday pay plus 1.5 times their regular daily wages for the hours they work.

Calculating overtime: The standard workweek is reduced in a week when a statutory holiday occurs; overtime is paid after 32 hours worked.

Alberta: Family Day, Feb. 16

Eligibility: Employees are eligible for a paid holiday if covered by the Employment Standards Code’s general holiday provisions and have worked for the same employer for a minimum of 30 workdays in the 12 months before the holiday.

Employees can be disqualified if they do not work on Family Day when their employer schedules or requires them to do so or if they are absent from work, without their employer’s consent, on their regularly scheduled work day immediately before or after the holiday.

Holiday pay: Pay average daily wages, calculated over the days the employee worked in the nine weeks before the holiday.

Working on the holiday: If employees are eligible, pay them their average daily wages plus 1.5 times their regular rate for each hour worked or their regular wage rate for the hours worked and give them another day off with pay by their next annual vacation. Pay non-eligible employees at least their regular rate.

Calculating overtime: Do not include hours worked on Family Day when calculating overtime for the week in which Family Day falls if employees are paid at least 1.5 times their regular rate for the hours.

British Columbia: Family Day, Feb. 9

Eligibility: Employees are eligible for a paid holiday if they are covered by the Employment Standards Act’s statutory holiday provisions and if they have been employed by the same employer for at least 30 calendar days and have worked or earned wages on at least 15 of the 30 calendar days before the holiday (except with an averaging agreement).

Holiday pay: Pay an average day’s pay for the holiday. This is calculated by dividing an employee’s total wages in the 30 calendar days before Family Day by the number of days worked. Total wages include wages, commissions, stat holiday pay and vacation pay.

Working on the holiday: If employees are eligible, they get an average day’s pay per work day plus 1.5 times their regular rate for the first 12 hours, and double time for hours in excess of 12. Non-eligible employees are paid the regular rate.

Calculating overtime: If an employee does not work on Family Day, do not include the holiday hours in overtime calculations. If an employee works on Family Day, include the hours worked when calculating overtime for that week. If an employee earns both statutory holiday pay and weekly overtime pay, the employer is not required to pay both.

"Where an employee earns two combined entitlements, they do not ‘double up’ but, rather, the employee would get paid in a fashion that provides the greater benefit to the employee," says the Employment Standard Board’s Interpretation Guidelines Manual.

To date, no other jurisdictions have tabled legislation for a February holiday. The New Brunswick Liberal Party proposed a holiday for the province when it was in opposition. So far, as the governing party, it has not said whether a new statutory holiday is on the agenda.

Add Comment

  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *