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General Holidays fact sheet for Alberta

Recognized general holidays in Alberta

The Code lists nine official general holidays (statutory holidays). These are:

  •  New Year’s Day (January 1)
  •  Alberta Family Day (Third Monday in February)
  •  Good Friday (Friday before Easter)
  •  Victoria Day (Monday before May 25)
  •  Canada Day (July 1, except when it falls on a Sunday, then it is July 2)
  •  Labour Day (First Monday in September)
  •  Thanksgiving Day (Second Monday in October)
  •  Remembrance Day (November 11), and
  •  Christmas Day (December 25).


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

Pay for general holiday – Not worked

If an employee who is not normally scheduled to work on the general holiday does not work, the employee is not entitled to receive pay for the holiday nor another day off with pay unless the employer decides to designate the Monday as a general holiday.

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

The Code allows an employer and its employees by agreement to designate any other day as a general holiday.  An employer who wishes to designate any other day as a general holiday may do so under the Code.  For example, many employers have designated Boxing Day, Easter Monday and Alberta Heritage Day as additional general holidays for their employees.  If an employer designates one of these days as a general holiday, all rules pertaining to general holiday pay will apply.  Employees should confirm this and any pay entitlements with their employer.

Eligibility for General Holiday Pay

With the exception of employees who work in specified industries and professions, most Alberta employees are entitled to general holidays and general holiday pay. The basic criteria for general holiday pay eligibility are as follows:


  • the employee must have worked for the employer for at least 30 working days in the year before the general holiday,
  • the employee must have worked their last scheduled shift before, and the first scheduled shift after, the holiday (note that employees will remain eligible if they have the employer’s permission to be absent for either or both of these shifts), and
  • the employee must not have refused to work on the general holiday when asked to do so.

Employees may need to meet other eligibility requirements before qualifying for a particular paid general holiday. Eligibility requirements are outlined in the Code.

If you work an irregular schedule, are paid by commission or other incentive pay plans and are not sure if general holiday is considered a normal work day, call the Employment Standards Contact Centre at 780-427-3731 or 1-877-427-3731.

Because of the nature of employment in the construction industry, there is no requirement for construction employers to provide their employees with general holidays. They are, however, entitled to general holiday pay in an amount that is at least 3.6 per cent of their wage.

To learn more, see the General Holidays and General Holiday Pay Fact Sheet.