Statutory Holidays in Alberta

As an employer regulated by Alberta’s Employment Standards Code, you are responsible for providing your employees with time off with pay for statutory holidays.

As of January 1, 2018, updates to Alberta’s Employment Standards Code under the Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act are in effect. This includes new standards for general holiday and general holiday pay.

Alberta has 9 Statutory Holidays

Statutory holidays (or “stat holidays”) are defined in Alberta’s Employment Standards Code as “general holidays”. The province has nine (9) statutory holidays:

  1. New Year’s Day
  2. Alberta Family Day
  3. Good Friday
  4. Victoria Day
  5. Canada Day
  6. Labour Day
  7. Thanksgiving Day
  8. Remembrance Day
  9. Christmas Day

There are also three (3) optional general holidays in Alberta, for which employers are not obligated to provide holiday time off or pay but may choose to offer as an additional benefit:

  1. Easter Monday
  2. Heritage Day
  3. Boxing Day

Statutory Holiday Entitlement 

When it comes to statutory holidays, your employees have the right to take general holidays and receive compensation with general holiday pay. This eligibility begins immediately, as of their date of hire. Your employee has the right to holiday pay if they:

  1. Worked their last scheduled shift before and first scheduled shift after the holiday, unless their employer consented to their absence, or
  2. Worked on the general holiday if required and scheduled to do so

You do not have a legal obligation to provide general holiday pay if your employee failed to meet either of the above requirements.

Calculating Statutory Holiday Pay

There are numerous ways to calculate pay for statutory holidays.

Shift-work employees who:

  1. Are scheduled to work on a general holiday but do not work that day must be paid at least their average daily wage
  2. Work on the general holiday day must be paid either their:
    1. Average daily wage, plus 1.5 times their rate for each hour worked
    2. Standard wage rate for each hour worked, plus an additional work day off with pay of at least their average daily wage

For salaried employees, the general holiday pay calculation is simplified. If the general holiday:

  1. Falls on a regular work day, salaried employees have the right to the day off work and their full salary for the day
  2. Does not fall on a regular work day, salaried employees have the right to either:
    1. A lieu day with pay equal to a full day’s salary; or
    2. General holiday pay that is at least their average daily wage

There are some exceptions and other considerations when calculating statutory holiday pay, such as employees who are paid by incentive pay or at termination. As an employer, it is important to understand your staff’s entitlements.

Ask Employer Line about statutory holidays for your small business.

If you are unsure how to calculate statutory holiday pay for your small business, ask the experts. Give our free employer advice line a call today at:  1 (888) 219-8767.