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Paid holidays for federally-regulated businesses

Regardless of whether they are full-time, part-time, or casual, all employees who have been with a federally-regulated employer for 30 days or more qualify to be paid for the 9 statutory holidays. 

Under the Canada Labour Code there are 9 paid general holidays each year:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Good Friday
  • Victoria Day
  • Canada Day
  • Labour Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Remembrance Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day

How do I pay my employees for a general holiday?

When an employee works on a general holiday, they are entitled to receive holiday pay, plus one and a half times their regular rate of wages for any hours worked on the holiday. 

When an employee does not work on the general holiday, they are entitled to receive general holiday pay. 

When the general holiday falls on an employee’s scheduled day off, then a day off with pay may be added to the employee’s annual vacation or taken at another mutually convenient time. 
Exceptions: if New Year’s Day, Canada Day, Remembrance Day, Christmas Day, or Boxing Day falls on a Sunday, Saturday or other non-working day for an employee, then the employee is entitled to a holiday with pay on the working day immediately preceding or following the general holiday. 

How do I calculate holiday pay?

Holiday pay is generally equivalent to one twentieth (1/20th) of the wages, excluding overtime pay, which the employee earned in the 4-week period immediately before the week in which the holiday falls. However, there are different calculations for those who earn either partly or wholly through commission, or who work in the longshoring industry.

For more information, please consult General Holidays (Publication 4 – Labour Standards) or General Holidays – Continuous operation (Publication 4a – Labour Standards) or your CFIB Business Counsellor.