In our earlier blog post, we provided an overview of Bill 2, National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Act, which if passed into law, would recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (September 30) as a public holiday in British Columbia and would establish it as a statutory holiday under the Employment Standards Act.

As expected, Bill 2 quickly made its way through the Legislative Assembly and received Royal Assent on March 9, 2023. Therefore, September 30th will be observed as a statutory holiday in B.C. starting this year.

The introduction of Bill 2 and the official recognition of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a statutory holiday in B.C. is intended, among other things, to commemorate the history and legacy of residential schools, to honour the survivors of the residential schools system and to allow more British Columbians the opportunity to reflect on and participate in advancing meaningful reconciliation in B.C.

In preparation for the new statutory holiday, employers should review and update their handbooks and policies (as applicable). In addition, unionized employers should also review the language in their collective agreements to determine how the new statutory holiday will affect them.

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