The summer solstice may technically mark the beginning of
summer; however, for most Canadians summer begins on Canada Day.
With this holiday just around the corner, it is important for
employees and employers to remember their rights and
Federally regulated employees
Recall that last year, new changes came in to effect in both the
Canada Labour Code and the Canada Labour Standards
Regulations. In essence, it is no longer necessary for an
employee in a federally regulated industry to have worked 15 days
prior to the holiday occurring. As long as the employee has worked
30 days with an employer, the employee is entitled to general
holiday pay. The changes from last year also affected the
calculations of holiday pay. Employees are now entitled to 1/20th
of their total earnings from the four-week period preceding Canada
Provincially regulated employees
In Quebec, the entitlements are similar to federally regulated
employees. There is no requirement that an employee has to have
been employed for 30 days in order to receive an indemnity. The
calculations are slightly different. Most employees are entitled to
1/20th of the wages earned during the four complete weeks preceding
the week of July 1st, excluding overtime.
In Ontario, all employees are entitled 1/20th of their regular
wages earned and their vacation pay payable from the four weeks
preceding the work week in which the Canada Day holiday occurs, as
long as they have worked their last regularly scheduled day before
and first regularly scheduled day after the holiday, or have a
reasonable cause for not doing so. The Ontario Minister of Labour
offers a Public Holiday Pay Calculator on its
All employees are entitled to receive their average daily wage
if they have worked for the employer for at least 30 working days
in the 12 months preceding Canada Day and they have worked their
scheduled shift before and after the holiday, unless otherwise
consented to by the employer. Average daily wage is calculated as
the average daily wage over a nine-week period if employed for at
least nine weeks, or the daily wage averaged over the days worked
if employed for less than nine weeks.
In all jurisdictions, there may be special rules for certain
types of employees and in special situations, particularly with
regard to the construction industry and employees paid by
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Unfortunately, reasonable accommodation for employees in the workplace continues to be the source of significant litigation and even today we continue to see outrageous examples of employers behaving badly.
We are now beginning to see reported cases involving charges and subsequent fines laid against employers for failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to protect a worker from workplace violence.
On October 13, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal an Ontario Court of Appeal decision which ordered an employer to pay a former employee 37 months of salary and benefits following termination.
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