There are major changes coming to the "holiday pay"
rules for federally regulated employees.
Under the current regime, holiday pay calculations vary based on
how the employee is compensated. Also, to be eligible for holiday
pay, an employee must have worked 15 of the 30 days preceding the
holiday. The amendments to the Canada Labour Code, which
applies to employers in the banking, broadcasting,
telecommunications, aeronautics and interprovincial transportation
sectors, will simplify these requirements.
Effective March 16, 2015, employees who are not paid by
commission will be entitled to holiday pay equal to at least one
twentieth (1/20) of the wages earned (excluding overtime pay) in
the four-week period immediately preceding the week in which the
holiday occurs. Employees who are remunerated in whole or in part
on a commission basis and who have completed at least 12 weeks of
continuous employment with the employer will be entitled to at
least one sixtieth of the wages they earned (excluding overtime
pay) in the 12-week period immediately preceding the week in which
the holiday occurs.
Significantly, the current requirement that employees must have
worked 15 of the 30 days preceding the holiday in order to be
eligible for the pay will be repealed. The requirement that
employees be employed with the employer for at least 30 days in
advance of the holiday will continue to apply and employees will
remain ineligible for holiday pay if a general holiday occurs
within the first 30 days (12 weeks for employees paid by
commission) of their employment and they are not required to
The changes will broaden the scope of employees eligible for
holiday pay. For example, some part time employees who may have
been previously exempt because of the manner in which they were
scheduled to work, may now qualify.
These requirements are minimum standards. They may have little
or no impact on employers who provide superior holiday
entitlements. For employees who are currently receiving the
statutory minimum holiday benefit, federally regulated employers
should review their policies and payroll practices to ensure
compliance going forward. The next federal general holiday is April
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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