With Canada Day fast approaching, it is an opportune time to
remind employers within the federal jurisdiction of the new
requirements under the Canada Labour Code for the
calculation of general holiday pay.
Changes to the "general holidays" provisions under the
Canada Labour Code and the Canada Labour Standards
Regulations came into force on March 16, 2015 and apply to
federally-regulated industries, such as banking, aeronautics,
railway, shipping, interprovincial transportation,
telecommunications, broadcasting, and federal Crown corporations.
These amendments change both the eligibility criteria for general
holidays as well as the calculation of holiday pay.
These changes remove the requirement that an employee work at
least 15 days in 30 day period prior to the holiday. Under the new
provisions, all employees are entitled to holiday pay if they have
completed 30 days' service with the employer.
In light of these changes, employees with irregular work weeks
who had not previously qualified for general holiday pay, such as
part-time, temporary, or casual employees, may now be entitled to
Calculating Holiday Pay
Using the new calculations, employees are generally to be
provided with at least 1/20th of their total earnings in the
four-week period immediately before the week in which the general
holiday occurs (excluding overtime pay).
However, employees who are paid on a commission basis –
whether in whole or in part – who have been employed for more
than 12 weeks are to be provided with at least 1/60th of their
total earnings in the 12-week period immediately before the week in
which the general holiday occurs (including commissions, but
excluding overtime pay). Commission-based employees who have been
employed less than 12 weeks are provided with at least 1/20th of
their total earnings in the four-week period immediately before the
week in which the general holiday occurs (including commissions,
but excluding overtime pay).
Please note that special rules exist for employers in continuous
operations and in the long-shoring industry which affect the
calculation and the eligibility criteria.
Employers would be wise to review their policies, practices,
and, if applicable, collective agreements, to ensure that they are
compliant with these new requirements under the Canada Labour
Code and the Canada Labour Standards Regulations.
While employers can still choose to provide a greater right or
benefit, they must not fall below these new statutory minimums.
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In a policy statement released early last month, the Ontario Human Rights Commission clarified its position on the scope of medical documentation that employees need to provide when making disability-related accommodation requests.
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