With Canada Day fast approaching, it is an opportune time to remind employers within the federal jurisdiction of the new requirements under the Canada Labour Code for the calculation of general holiday pay.

Changes to the “general holidays” provisions under the Canada Labour Code and the Canada Labour Standards Regulations came into force on March 16, 2015 and apply to federally-regulated industries, such as banking, aeronautics, railway, shipping, interprovincial transportation, telecommunications, broadcasting, and federal Crown corporations. These amendments change both the eligibility criteria for general holidays as well as the calculation of holiday pay.

Eligibility

These changes remove the requirement that an employee work at least 15 days in 30 day period prior to the holiday. Under the new provisions, all employees are entitled to holiday pay if they have completed 30 days’ service with the employer.

In light of these changes, employees with irregular work weeks who had not previously qualified for general holiday pay, such as part-time, temporary, or casual employees, may now be entitled to paid holidays.

Calculating Holiday Pay

Using the new calculations, employees are generally to be provided with at least 1/20th of their total earnings in the four-week period immediately before the week in which the general holiday occurs (excluding overtime pay).

However, employees who are paid on a commission basis – whether in whole or in part – who have been employed for more than 12 weeks are to be provided with at least 1/60th of their total earnings in the 12-week period immediately before the week in which the general holiday occurs (including commissions, but excluding overtime pay). Commission-based employees who have been employed less than 12 weeks are provided with at least 1/20th of their total earnings in the four-week period immediately before the week in which the general holiday occurs (including commissions, but excluding overtime pay).

Please note that special rules exist for employers in continuous operations and in the long-shoring industry which affect the calculation and the eligibility criteria.

Special Rules

Employers would be wise to review their policies, practices, and, if applicable, collective agreements, to ensure that they are compliant with these new requirements under the Canada Labour Code and the Canada Labour Standards Regulations.   While employers can still choose to provide a greater right or benefit, they must not fall below these new statutory minimums.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *