What Employees Need to Know About Statutory Holidays

Everyone loves a good day off.

Whether you're taking a day trip or spending time with friends and family, having some extra free time during the holidays is a wonderful way to recuperate and refocus.

Since there are a few required paid holidays in each province, you won't have to worry about missing money on your pay cheque.

What are Statutory Holidays?

Statutory holidays are public holidays recognized by the federal government or your province. Depending on your eligibility and employer, you are entitled to a day off without losing pay on these dates. Federally regulated employees are entitled to nine paid holidays each year, but the amount and dates vary if you're a provincially regulated, part-time, or private sector employee.

At the federal level, the nine statutory holidays for 2019 are:

Jan. 1 — New Year's Day
Apr. 19 — Good Friday
May 20 — Victoria Day
July 1 — Canada Day
Sep. 2 — Labour Day
Oct. 14 — Thanksgiving
Nov. 11 — Remembrance Day
Dec. 25 — Christmas
Dec. 26 — Boxing Day

On these days, all qualifying employees can relax and enjoy the holiday, without worrying about a gap in their pay cheque. Banks and federal offices are closed on stat holidays, too. (If you're running payroll, you'll also want to take this into account if the bank holiday affects your processing time.) 

How Do I Know if I Get Paid for a Statutory Holiday?

The statutory holidays you qualify for are based on your employer. If you're a federally regulated employee, you follow the standard nine federal holiday schedule and in most cases receive the nine federal stat holidays days off.

"Federally regulated employees" doesn't just mean government employees. It also includes a range of industries, like banking, some agriculture and infrastructure sectors, radio broadcasting, and more. Anyone in one of the outlined industries follows the federal statutory holiday schedule.

If you're a provincially regulated employee, like the majority of Canadian workers, you follow the set holidays for your province. Some of those holidays are the same as on the federal level, but some are different. Refer to your province in the list below.

However, if your occupation is considered essential care (think hospital workers, first responders, etc.), you may not get a statutory holiday even if you qualify as a federally or provincially regulated employee. In this case, employers are required to either give you a different day off or compensate you above your normal pay rate to make up for it.

Keep in mind that part-time and private sector employers may have different rules about who is and isn't eligible for a day off. When it comes to these exceptions, check with your manager or HR department. Rules and procedures may change from employer to employer, so it's always best to go straight to the source.

How Do Statutory Holidays Affect My Pay Cheque?

If you qualify for statutory holiday pay, you can have the day off without sacrificing any of your pay cheque. That is, if you're an employee with a "normal" pay rate — like a salary — you will be paid for the day using a calculation to determine what your day rate is. In most cases, it depends on what province you're in, what your normal work week looks like and how long you've been employed with your current employer. 

But if you're an employee that has to work during the holiday, and still qualify for statutory pay (again, think essential care workers), things get a little more complicated. Your employer can do one of four things:

  • Pay you an increased rate (usually 1.5x your normal pay rate) during the holiday
  • Give you a different specified day off to substitute the holiday
  • Give you time in lieu (to be taken off at a later date at a time of your choice, or paid out in earnings)
  • Waive your right to time off

Depending on the route your employer takes, your pay cheque could possibly change — though it's uncommon.

Again, everything depends on your employer and industry. Always contact your employer first, as they will have the most accurate information about what rules and guidelines apply to you.

2019 Statutory Holidays by Province

By Province:

Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Northwest Territories
Nova Scotia
Nunavut
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Yukon

Alberta

Jan 1. — New Year's Day
Feb. 18 — Family Day
Apr. 19 — Good Friday
May 20 — Victoria Day
July 1 — Canada Day
Aug. 5 — Heritage Day
Sep. 2 — Labour Day
Oct. 14 — Thanksgiving
Nov. 11 — Remembrance Day
Dec. 25 — Christmas

British Columbia

Jan 1. — New Year's Day
Feb. 18 — Family Day
Apr. 19 — Good Friday
May 20 — Victoria Day
July 1 — Canada Day
Aug. 5 — B.C. Day
Sep. 2 — Labour Day
Oct. 14 — Thanksgiving
Nov. 11 — Remembrance Day
Dec. 25 — Christmas

Manitoba

Jan 1. — New Year's Day
Feb. 18 — Louis Riel Day
Apr. 19 — Good Friday
May 20 — Victoria Day
July 1 — Canada Day
Sep. 2 — Labour Day
Oct. 14 — Thanksgiving
Dec. 25 — Christmas

New Brunswick

Jan 1. — New Year's Day
Feb. 18 — Family Day
Apr. 19 — Good Friday
July 1 — Canada Day
Aug. 5 — New Brunswick Day
Sep. 2 — Labour Day
Nov. 11 — Remembrance Day
Dec. 25 — Christmas

Newfoundland and Labrador

Jan 1. — New Year's Day
Mar. 17 — St. Patrick's Day
Apr. 19 — Good Friday
Apr. 23 — St. George's Day
June 24 — Discovery Day
July 1 — Canada Day
Aug. 5 — Heritage Day
Sep. 2 — Labour Day
Dec. 25 — Christmas

Northwest Territories

Jan 1. — New Year's Day
Apr. 19 — Good Friday
May 20 — Victoria Day
June 21 — National Aboriginal Day
July 1 — Canada Day
Sep. 2 — Labour Day
Oct. 14 — Thanksgiving
Nov. 11 — Remembrance Day
Dec. 25 — Christmas

Nova Scotia

Jan 1. — New Year's Day
Feb. 18 — NS Heritage Day
Apr. 19 — Good Friday
July 1 — Canada Day
Sep. 2 — Labour Day
Dec. 25 — Christmas

Nunavut

Jan 1. — New Year's Day
Apr. 19 — Good Friday
May 20 — Victoria Day
July 1 — Canada Day
July 9 — Nunavut Day
Aug. 5 — Civic Day
Sep. 2 — Labour Day
Oct. 14 — Thanksgiving
Nov. 11 — Remembrance Day
Dec. 25 — Christmas

Ontario

Jan 1. — New Year's Day
Feb. 18 — Family Day
Apr. 19 — Good Friday
May 20 — Victoria Day
July 1 — Canada Day
Aug. 5 — Civic Day
Sep. 2 — Labour Day
Oct. 14 — Thanksgiving
Dec. 25 — Christmas
Dec. 26 — Boxing Day

Prince Edward Island

Jan 1. — New Year's Day
Feb. 18 — Islander Day
Apr. 19 — Good Friday
July 1 — Canada Day
Sep. 2 — Labour Day
Oct. 14 — Thanksgiving
Nov. 11 — Remembrance Day
Dec. 25 — Christmas

Quebec

Jan 1. — New Year's Day
Apr. 19 — Good Friday
Apr. 22 — Easter Monday
May 20 — Victoria Day
June 24 — St. Jean Baptiste Day
July 1 — Canada Day
Sep. 2 — Labour Day
Oct. 14 — Thanksgiving
Dec. 25 — Christmas

Saskatchewan

Jan 1. — New Year's Day
Feb. 18 — Family Day
Apr. 19 — Good Friday
May 20 — Victoria Day
July 1 — Canada Day
Aug. 5 — Saskatchewan Day
Sep. 2 — Labour Day
Oct. 14 — Thanksgiving
Nov. 11 — Remembrance Day
Dec. 25 — Christmas

Yukon

Jan 1. — New Year's Day
Apr. 19 — Good Friday
May 20 — Victoria Day
June 21 — National Aboriginal Day
July 1 — Canada Day
Aug. 19 — Discovery Day
Sep. 2 — Labour Day
Oct. 14 — Thanksgiving
Nov. 11 — Remembrance Day
Dec. 25 — Christmas

Know Your Paid Holidays

It's great to know you can take a day off and get paid. 

But, make sure you know what days you're qualified for before making any plans. You can always ask your employer what rules apply to you, so you can have the most accurate information possible.

The advice we share on our blog is intended to be informational. It does not replace the expertise of accredited business professionals.

About the Author

Erika Yohn

Erika is a savvy Millenial on Wagepoint's marketing team. Now a retired soccer player, she spends a lot of time browsing Twitter to stay updated on the current trends - especially when it comes to memes. With a hand in all things marketing, she likes to keep things fun and useful for Wagepoint's customers.

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