What are Ontario’s 9 Statutory Holidays?

Statutory holidays, are defined in the Employment Standards Act (ESA) under “Public Holidays”. Ontario has nine (9) public holidays:

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

Statutory Holiday Entitlement and Stat Pay

Your employees are legally entitled to take statutory holiday days off work, and receive the appropriate public holiday pay (otherwise known as stat pay). The pay rate of time-and-a-half is applicable to employees in Ontario, who work any of the public holidays listed above. The amount of public holiday pay to which an employee is entitled is all of the regular wages earned by the employee in the four work weeks before the work week with the public holiday plus all of the vacation pay payable to the employee with respect to the four work weeks before the work week with the public holiday, divided by 20.

Note that, statutory holiday days are in addition to vacation time off. Under written consent, an employee can agree to work on a statutory holiday with stat pay accordingly:

  • Premium Pay: For all hours worked on a public holiday, this removes the requirement for a substitute holiday.
  • Substitute Holiday: Regular wage pay for all hours worked on a public holiday; this allows another day off in lieu, with holiday pay at the rate of 1.5days.

It is important to note that if the employee was not working for you during the pay period prior to the holiday, you would need to use the regular wages earned in the pay period that includes the public holiday. Regular wages do not include overtime or premium pay.

When it comes to stat pay, employers should understand these terms: gross regular wages, work week, and vacation pay payable. If unsure, employers should take advice on how holiday pay is calculated appropriately to avoid legal challenges.

Are you an employer with questions about Ontario’s statutory holidays?

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