Statutory Holidays and Holiday Pay for NWT

Recognized statutory holidays in NWT

The Code lists ten official statutory holidays. These are:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Good Friday
  • Victoria Day
  • National Aboriginal Day
  • Canada Day
  • the first Monday in August
  • Labour Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Remembrance Day and
  • Christmas Day  

*Good Friday is a movable religious holiday falling on the Friday before Easter Sunday.

Here is a table of remaining 2016 general holidays and dates.

General Holiday                       Definition of Holiday                                        2016

Christmas Day                           December 25                                                     Sunday, December 25, 2016

New Year’s Day                        January 1                                                            Sunday, January 1, 2017

Another holiday may be substituted for a statutory holiday under a collective agreement, if the parties to the collective agreement notify the Employment Standards Officer in writing of the day to be substituted.

Eligibility for General Holiday Pay

How do I pay my staff for Statutory Holidays? NWT's 10 statutory holidays are New Year's Day, Good Friday, Victoria Day, National Aboriginal Day, Canada Day, the first Monday in August, Labour Day, Thanksgiving Day, Remembrance Day and Christmas Day.

An employee is entitled to a holiday with pay, whether it falls on a day of work or not.

If wages are calculated on the basis of time, the amount of holiday pay must be equal to, or greater than, wages earned at the regular rate for normal hours of work. If wages are calculated on another basis, the amount of holiday pay must be equal to, or greater than, daily wages based on the average of daily wages for the four weeks worked immediately preceding the week in which the holiday occurs.

If an employee works on a holiday, in addition to holiday pay, he/she receives overtime for the time worked that day, or receives a substitute holiday before his/her annual vacation.

An employee not required to work on a holiday shall not be required to work on another day that would otherwise be a non-working day in the week in which that holiday occurs, unless paid a rate at least equal to double his/her regular rate of wages for the time worked on that day.

Who gets paid for a statutory holiday?

There are several conditions employees are required to meet to qualify for statutory holiday pay.

  • An employee must have worked for the employer for 30 days within the 12 months prior to the holiday.
  • An employee must report to work on their last scheduled work day prior to the holiday and their next scheduled work day following the holiday.
  • An employee must report to work on the holiday if they are scheduled, or called to work.
  • An employee on pregnancy or parental leave is not entitled to statutory holiday pay while they are on leave.
  • Part time employees are entitled to statutory holiday pay once they meet the conditions set out above.

 What should employees be paid for a statutory holiday?

If an employee meets all the conditions for entitlement to statutory holiday pay and has the day off, he or she is entitled to receive an average day’s pay for the holiday. If an employee meets all the conditions and works on a statutory holiday, he or she must receive payment for the hours that he or she worked at the rate of time and a half, plus an average day’s pay. As an alternative the employer may transfer the holiday to another day giving the employee a day off with pay.  Overtime is paid after 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week.  During a week containing a statutory holiday overtime is calculated after 8 hours per day and 32 regular hours in that week.  The payment for the statutory holiday is calculated separately. 

The method of payment for statutory holiday pay is different if the employee is being paid on a basis other than time.

Please contact the Employment Standards Office directly at 1-888-700-5707 for further information on how to calculate.

Still have questions? Contact a CFIB Business Counsellor at or 1-888-234-2232.

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