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Statutory Holidays in British Columbia and Canada

Intro

Most people, if not all, love taking a day off from work, especially when it is due to a statutory holiday. During these holidays, people can relax at home, go on a day trip, or spend time with their family and friends. Having some free time during the week is a great way to recharge and refocus. On top of that, you will still be paid during statutory holidays, so you won’t have to worry about missing a pay cheque. 

What Are Statutory Holidays?

Statutory holidays are public holidays that are observed by the province and/or by the federal government. Statutory holidays usually celebrate cultural, national, historical, and religious events. While statutory holiday pay depends on one’s eligibility and employer, both eligible private and public workers are entitled to a non-working day without losing regular pay. Typically, employees can receive statutory holiday pay if they have been employed for at least one month, or 30 calendar days, before the statutory holiday.

For employees working for the federal public service, their statutory holiday pay is determined by their employment status. Interestingly, if a statutory holiday falls on a weekend, which is a normal day off, the statutory holiday falls on the following workday. For example, if Canada Day is on Sunday, July 1st, then Monday, July 2nd will become the official statutory holiday, so you won’t have to work on that day.

Canada’s Current Statutory Holidays

According to the Government of Canada, the designated paid holidays in 2022 include:

  • New Year’s Day – January 1
  • Good Friday – April 15
  • Easter Monday – April 18
  • Victoria Day – May 23
  • Canada Day – July 1
  • Labour Day – September 5
  • National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – September 30
  • Thanksgiving Day – October 10
  • Remembrance Day – November 11
  • Christmas Day – December 25
  • Boxing Day – December 26

British Columbia’s Current Statutory Holidays

In addition to Canada’s statutory holidays, British Columbia observes its own provincial holidays in 2022. These include:

  • Family Day – February 21
  • British Columbia (BC) Day – August 1

How Do Statutory Holidays Affect My Pay Cheque?

Statutory holidays can affect your pay cheque in different ways. This depends on what kind of employee you are and what kind of work schedule you may have. The following four combinations are listed on the Government of Canada website:  

  1. Full-Time Employment & Holiday Pay
  • If you work full-time, you can receive regular pay for all statutory holidays. 
  • If a statutory holiday falls on your day of rest (eg. on a weekend like Saturday or Sunday), the statutory holiday is observed on the first working day after the day of rest.
  1. Leave Without Pay & Holiday Pay
  • If you are absent from work for an entire day immediately before and after a statutory holiday, you will not be paid for the holiday. This also applies to anyone who is on leave without pay. 
    • For example, if there is a statutory holiday on Friday and you are absent from work on Thursday, you will not be entitled to Friday’s statutory holiday pay. 
  1. Part-Time Work & Holiday Pay
  1. Part-time employees are paid a premium of 1.5 times their hourly wage as well as an average day’s pay instead of regular pay for statutory holidays. 
  1. Compressed Work Week & Holiday Pay
  • A compressed work week means that an employee is allowed to work the traditional 35-40 hour work week in less than five workdays. 
  • If you work a compressed work week, you are expected to make up for the time difference between the observed statutory holiday and your compressed hours. 
  • It is recommended that you verify with your workplace the established practices for entitlement to holiday pay for compressed work weeks, as it can vary from employer to employer. 

Before You Make Any Plans…

It can be hard to deny the feeling of excitement from taking a day off—all while still getting paid. But before you decide to sleep in or leave the city for the day, make sure you know what days you are qualified for. Although these are guidelines that have been set by the Government of Canada, it is always best to check with your employer or managing department to see if there are any specific workplace practices or obligations that you may need to follow. Always be sure to check in with your workplace before anything else.

For more information about statutory holidays and pay, visit the official Statutory Holiday Pay on the Government of Canada website

Source: Government of Canada Statutory Holiday Pay and Status

Disclaimer:
The information has been gathered as accurately as possible at the time of writing, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy or completeness. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, please check the official website and digital channels.

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