[Canada] Statutory holiday pay requirements

This article applies to Payroll by Wave in Canada.

All employers in Canada need to be aware of the requirements for holiday pay. Each province and territory in Canada handles holiday pay a little differently, but the good news is that Wave has taken the headache out of trying to figure out what you owe to your employees for holiday periods. 

Simply put, employees could receive two types of holiday pay: 

  1. Statutory Holiday Pay – This is the pay that an employee is entitled to for being employed during a holiday (whether they work on the holiday or not) 
  2. Worked Holiday Pay –  Sometimes called "Holiday Premium Pay," this is pay at an increased hourly rate that an employee earns for working during a holiday 

You'll also need to know whether an employee is eligible for holiday pay. 

Just let Wave know if the employee worked on the holiday or not. We'll handle the rest, including the eligibility requirements for each employee.

Below we've included a few frequently asked questions: 

How is holiday pay calculated? 

Statutory holiday pay, the pay that an employee is entitled to for being employed during a holiday (whether or not they work on the holiday), can take a few different things into consideration, depending on the province where your business is located. 

Things like the pay this employee earned in previous periods and how long they've been employed come into play here. 

Worked holiday pay also differs from province to province. The rate at which this is paid out depends on business location.  

What days count as holidays?

This depends on the province where your business is located. Some statutory holidays are unique to only one province, where others are observed across Canada.  

Province /Territory

Holidays Observed 

Ontario

New Year's Day, Family Day, Good Friday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Labour Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, Boxing Day (December 26)
British Columbia New Year's Day, Family Day, Good Friday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, B.C. Day, Labour Day, Thanksgiving Day, Remembrance Day, Christmas Day
Manitoba New Year's Day, Louis Riel Day (3rd Monday in February), Good Friday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Labour Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day
New Brunswick New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Canada Day, New Brunswick Day, Labour Day, Remembrance Day, Christmas Day
Newfoundland and Labrador New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day (Canada Day), Labour Day, Remembrance Day, Christmas Day
Northwest Territories New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Victoria Day, National Aboriginal Day, Canada Day, First Monday in August, Labour Day, Thanksgiving Day, Remembrance Day, Christmas Day
Nova Scotia New Year’s Day, Nova Scotia Heritage Day, Good Friday, Canada Day, Labour Day, and Christmas Day
Nunavut New Year's Day, Good Friday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, The first Monday in August, Labour Day, Thanksgiving Day, Remembrance Day and Christmas Day
Alberta New Year’s Day, Alberta Family Day, Good Friday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Labour Day, Thanksgiving Day, Remembrance Day, Christmas Day
Prince Edward Island New Year's Day, Islander Day (3rd Monday in February), Good Friday, Canada Day, Labour Day, Remembrance Day, Christmas Day
Saskatchewan New Year's Day, Family Day, Good Friday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Saskatchewan Day, Labour Day, Thanksgiving, Remembrance Day, Christmas Day
Yukon New Year's Day, Good Friday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Discovery Day, Labour Day, Thanksgiving Day, Remembrance Day and Christmas Day

 

Where can I find the holiday rules for my Province? 

Ontario The Ontario Ministry of Labour
British Columbia Labour Relations Board
Manitoba Manitoba Labour Board
New Brunswick Labour and Employment Board
Employment Standards
Newfoundland and Labrador Labour Relations Board
Northwest Territories Employment Standards
Nova Scotia Labour Board
Nunavut Department of Human Resources
Alberta Alberta Labour Relations Board
Prince Edward Island Employment Standards Branch
Labour Relations Board
Saskatchewan Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board
Saskatchewan Labour Standards
Yukon Department of Community Services

 

Was this article helpful?
2 out of 7 found this helpful