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Paying employees for general holidays in Alberta

Your employees are asking for their stat holiday pay — but are they eligible? The Alberta Employment Standards Code lists nine official general holidays, also known as statutory holidays.

Most employees are eligible for general holidays and holiday pay immediately upon employment.

An employee is not entitled to holiday pay when they:

  • don’t work on a general holiday but are required or scheduled to do so
  • are absent from employment without consent of the employer on the employee’s last regular working day preceding, or first regular working day following, the general holiday.

Most employees, full-time and part-time, are entitled to paid general holidays immediately after starting their employment.

General holiday

Definition of holiday

2019

2020

New Year’s Day

January 1

January 1

January 1

Alberta Family Day

Third Monday in February

February 18

February 17

Good Friday

Friday before Easter

April 19

April 10

Victoria Day

Monday before May 25

May 20

May 18

Canada Day

July 1, except when it falls on a Sunday, then it is July 2

July 1

July 1

Labour Day

First Monday in September

September 2

September 7

Thanksgiving Day

Second Monday in October

October 14

October 12

Remembrance Day

November 11

November 11

November 11

Christmas Day

December 25

December 25

December 25

Optional general holidays

If an employer agrees to designate additional general holidays for their employees, all employment standards rules related to general holiday pay still apply for these additional holidays. Employees should confirm this and any pay entitlements with their employer.

Optional general holidays in Alberta include:

Optional holiday

Definition of holiday

2019

2020

Easter Monday

First Monday following Easter

April 22

April 13

Heritage Day

First Monday in August

August 5

August 3

Boxing Day

December 26

December 26

December 26

Employee eligibility

To be eligible for general holiday pay, employees must:

  • work their scheduled shift before and after the holiday (unless employer consent is given for the absence)
  • work on the general holiday if required and scheduled to do so

Holiday pay rate

If an employee doesn’t work on the general holiday, then they are entitled to general holiday pay of an amount that is at least their average daily wage.

If an employee works on the general holiday, then the employee is entitled to general holiday pay of an amount that is equal to:

  • at least their average daily wage, and at least 1.5 times their wage rate for each hour worked on that day, OR
  • standard wage rate for each hour worked on the general holiday and a day off with pay where the pay is at least as much as their average daily wage