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Want to observe Canada Day on a Monday or Friday? Learn how

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In 2020, July 1 falls on a Wednesday. Many Manitobans look forward to a July long weekend to celebrate Canada Day. You may be able to substitute a Monday or a Friday for the July 1 General Holiday by following a few rules.

Which set of employment standards applies to my business?

  • Approximately 90% of Manitoba workplaces fall under provincial regulations. Visit Manitoba Employment Standards.
  • The other 10 % of workplaces – including the grain industry, air transportation, aircraft operations, highway transportation and communications – fall under the Canada Labour Code. Check the list of federally-regulated workplaces

What else must you consider?

  • You must have a written agreement about the holiday substitution. For unionized workplaces, the collective agreement may already include the change. Otherwise, you must have signatures from the majority of affected employees.
  • Changing the day you observe Canada Day will affect wages. For example, if Monday, June 29, 2020 becomes your substituted holiday, employees who take June 29 off are paid for that day according to statutory holiday pay rules. When those employees work on July 1, they are paid regular wages for all hours worked that day.
  • The Retail Businesses Holiday Closing Act and some local municipal by-laws set restrictions on the types of businesses allowed to open on July 1
FAQs: Manitoba Employment Standards Code

Can employees and employers choose to use a different day as a general holiday?

Employers may substitute another day for a general holiday for the purposes of general holiday pay and wages for hours worked on the day:

  • Under a collective (union) agreement, or
  • With the written agreement of a majority of the employees. This does not need to be approved by Employment Standards but the employer should keep a copy of the agreement.

The substituted day must be within 12 months of the general holiday.

While retail businesses have the option to substitute, some must not be open on Canada Day (July 1), New Year's Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Labour Day or Christmas Day. These businesses can be open Sunday shopping hours on Louis Riel Day, Victoria Day and Thanksgiving Day if there is a by-law in place in the municipality.

What retail businesses can be open on Sundays and general holidays without a by-law?

The following types of retail businesses can be open: 

  • Businesses that ordinarily operate with four or less employees (including the owner)
  • Restaurants
  • Pharmacies
  • Laundromats
  • Boat and motor vehicle rental, repair and service shops
  • Places with educational, recreational or amusement purposes
  • Tourism and recreational facilities including summer resorts
  • Other retailers selling only nursery stock, flowers, garden supplies and accessories, fresh fruit and vegetables, and gasoline and related goods for motor vehicles
  • Businesses that sell liquor or cannabis

Municipalities can pass a by-law to allow shopping on Sundays and some general holidays at retail businesses not listed. These businesses can be open Sunday shopping hours on Louis Riel Day, Victoria Day, and Thanksgiving Day.

Unless a retail business is included on the above list, it cannot be open on the following days: New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, July 1, Labour Day or Christmas Day. 

Contact Manitoba Employment Standards at 204-945-3352 or 1-800-821-4307.

FAQs: Canada Labour Code

Substitute a general holiday for another day

It's possible to perform a holiday substitution:

  • If the parties are subject to a collective agreement: 
    • The employer may, in respect of one or more employees replace a holiday provided for in the Code with another holiday, the days substituted for them are therefore having the value of holidays for these employees, provided that there is a written agreement on substitution with the union.
  • If the parties are not subject to a collective agreement: 
    • The employer may, in respect to one or more employees, substitute a holiday provided for in the Code with another holiday, the days substituted for them therefore having the value of holidays for these employees, if the substitution is approved: 
      • in the case of a substitution applicable to a single employee, by the employee and in writing
      • in the case of a substitution applicable to several employees, by at least 70% of the employees concerned. The employer must post the substitution notice for at least 30 days before it takes effect

An employee may also request a holiday substitution as part of a request for flexible work arrangements. The employee must request the employer's written authorization.

Contact the Canada Labour Program at 1-800-641-4049 or [email protected]a.

FAQS: The Retail Businesses Holiday Closing Act

Retail business prohibited on holidays 

2   No person who owns or operates a retail business in a retail business establishment shall admit members of the public therein or sell or offer for sale any goods or services therein on a holiday. 

Sunday opening 

3   Despite section 2, the owner or operator of a retail business establishment may open the establishment to the public and sell goods or services, or offer them for sale, on Sundays 

(a) in the case of an owner or operator of one establishment, only if the establishment is always closed to the public, and goods or services are not sold or offered for sale, on Saturdays; and 

(b) in the case of an owner or operator of two or more establishments, only if all the establishments are always closed to the public, and goods or services are not sold or offered for sale at any of the establishments, on Saturdays. 

Exemptions 

4   The following are exempt from sections 2 and 3: 
(a) goods or services sold or offered for sale by retail in the form of or in connection with living accommodation or prepared meals where the sale or offering for sale of those goods or services is the principal business of the seller or offeror; 
(b) the retail sale of liquor or cannabis under the authority of a licence or permit issued under The Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Control Act; 
(c) a retail business that is governed or regulated by a special Act of the Legislature or any regulations made thereunder; 
(d) subject to clause 4.1(6)(a), a retail business establishment where the number of persons, including the owner, employed for the sale of goods or services does not exceed four persons at any one time; 
(e) a pharmacy where the principal business carried on is the dispensing of drugs upon prescription and the sale of goods of a pharmaceutical or therapeutic nature or for hygienic or cosmetic purposes; 
(f) a retail business establishment where gasoline, motor oil and related goods or services for use in the operation of a motor vehicle are the only goods or services sold or offered for sale; 
(g) a retail business establishment where nursery stock, flowers, garden supplies and accessories are the only goods sold or offered for sale; 
(h) a retail business establishment where fresh fruit and vegetables are the only goods sold or offered for sale; 
(i) the operation of laundromats and other coin-operated services incidental thereto; 
(j) the rental, servicing or repair of motor vehicles or boats; 
(k) the admission of the public to premises for educational, recreational or amusement purposes or in respect of the sale or offering for sale of goods or services incidental thereto; 
(l) the operation of tourism and recreational facilities including summer and winter resorts. 

Effect of by-law or regulation 

4.1(6)   When pursuant to a by-law under subsection (3) or a regulation under subsection (5) the exemptions referred to in subsection (2) are in force in a municipality or a territory outside a municipality, 
(a) clause 4(d) is not in force in that municipality or territory; 

Still have questions?

CFIB Business Counsellors are available to answer CFIB members’ questions. Contact us at [email protected] or 1-888-234-2232.