Payroll rules differ for each province and territory
With Remembrance Day on Nov. 11, employers may have questions about the payroll implications. While some workers are given time off on this federal statutory holiday, other employees may be required to report to work — and the pay rules differ.
Here’s a rundown of the holiday work and rate policy in each of the Canadian provinces and territories:
Alberta observes Remembrance Day as a statutory holiday and it is therefore a paid general holiday for eligible employees. To be eligible, employees must work their scheduled shift before and after the holiday, unless consent is given for their absence, according to the government’s website.
If Alberta employees work on Remembrance Day, they must be paid at least their daily wage and at least 1.5 times their wage rate per hour worked or the standard wage rate for each hour worked on the general holiday and a day off with pay where the pay is at least as much as their average daily wage.
If the holiday falls on a non-regular day of work and an employee doesn’t work on Remembrance Day, they are not entitled to general holiday pay.
Workers who do not report for duty will still be given an amount that is at least their daily wage.
British Columbia also observes Remembrance Day as a statutory holiday. Employees are qualified for the holiday pay if they have been employed for 30 calendar days and — and have worked at least 15 of those days — prior to the holiday, according to the government.
If employees in B.C. work on Remembrance Day, they must be paid at least their daily wage based on the days they worked during the 30 calendar days before the holiday plus a per-hour rate equivalent to 150 per cent of their regular workday’s hourly work rate. Workers who will not report for duty will still be getting an amount that is at least their daily wage.
Employees are paid time-and-a-half for hours worked on a statutory holiday – double-time for hours worked over 12 hours.
In Manitoba, employees of businesses in most industries are not allowed to work on Nov. 11, though the day is not recognized as a statutory holiday. However, there are a few exceptions. Employees working in hospitals, hotels and restaurants, emergency repairs business, farming, and a few other industries will be allowed to do business, according to the Manitoba government. All retail businesses must also be closed from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Remembrance Day.
Employees in Manitoba who work on the holiday will be paid at least half the hours of a normal workday at 1.5 times their regular wages, according to the government. For example, employees who work two hours on the holiday, but normally work an eight-hour day, are paid four hours at 1.5 times their regular wage.
In addition, employees also receive a regular day’s pay for working on Remembrance Day, or 5% of their gross earnings in the 28 days before Remembrance Day if their hours vary.
Employees who work more than half their normal hours on Remembrance Day are paid 1.5 times their regular wage for all hours worked, plus a regular day’s pay.
Note that employers in Manitoba are not required to pay employees who do not work on Remembrance Day, but it has become common practice to do so.
Remembrance Day is known as a “day of rest” in New Brunswick and considered a paid public holiday for eligible employees. To be eligible, employees must be employed by the employer for at least 90 calendar days during the 12 months before the holiday. They, too, must work their scheduled regular day before and after the holiday, according to the government.
Employees who work on the holiday will be paid a regular day’s pay plus 1.5 times their regular wages for the hours that they worked, says the government. Employees who do not go to work will still be paid their regular pay.
When the holiday falls on a non-working day or during an employee’s vacation, the employee who qualifies must receive another working day off with pay in lieu of the holiday, or if the employee agrees, a regular day’s pay for that day.
Instead of paying the employee a regular day’s pay for the public holiday, the employer has the option of paying the employee an additional four per cent of all of the employee’s gross wages. In addition to paying the four per cent, when the employee works on a paid public holiday, the employer must also pay him one and one-half times his regular rate of
pay for the hours worked on each holiday.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador also list Remembrance Day or Armistice as one of its designated holidays.
When an employee is required to work on a scheduled working day, they shall be compensated and either:
- time off with pay at the rate of one and one-half for each hour worked at a later date to be mutually agreed between the deputy minister and the employee; or
- if such time off is not granted within four months of the designated holiday, payment for hours worked at the rate of one and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked on the designated holiday.
When an employee is required to work on a designated holiday that falls on an employee’s normal or assigned day of rest, and where no other day is designated as a holiday in lieu thereof, the employee shall be compensated for the designated holiday and either:
- time off with full pay within two months of the designated holiday, at the rate of two hours off for each hour worked, in addition to a day off in lieu of the designated holiday, or if this is not possible;
- payment for the equivalent of the time off provided above.
Remembrance Day is a statutory holiday in the Northwest Territories.
There are several conditions employees must meet to qualify for statutory holiday pay. They: must have worked for the employer for 30 days within the 12 months prior to the holiday; must report to work on their last scheduled workday prior to the holiday and their next scheduled workday following the holiday; and they must report to work on the holiday if they are scheduled or called to work.
If an eligible employee has the day off, they are entitled to receive an average day’s pay for the holiday. If an eligible employee works on a statutory holiday, they must receive payment for the hours that they worked at the rate of time and a half, plus an average day’s pay.
As an alternative, the employer may transfer the holiday to another day giving the employee a day off with pay. Overtime is paid after eight hours per day and 40 hours per week. During a week containing a statutory holiday, overtime is calculated after eight hours per day and 32 regular hours in that week. The payment for the statutory holiday is calculated separately.
Even though Nova Scotia’s Labour Standards Code does not include Remembrance Day, the province still has a special wage treatment for employees working on the day.
An employee who works on Remembrance Day and who is entitled to receive wages for at least 15 of the 30 calendar days immediately before Remembrance Day may be entitled to receive another day off with pay. That day with pay may be taken at the end of the employee’s vacation or any other day the employee and employer may agree upon.
Remembrance Day is a general holiday in Nunavut. Employees are not eligible for pay if they:
- have not worked for the same employer for a total of 30 days in the 12 months preceding the holiday
- did not report to work on that day after having been called to work on that day
- did not report for work on either their last regular working day preceding or following the holiday, without the consent of the employer
- are on pregnancy or parental leave.
In general, if an employee does not work on Remembrance Day, they are entitled to a regular’s day pay. If they worked on the general holiday, they are entitled to either another day off work with pay or a normal day’s pay plus 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for the time worked, according to the government.
Ontario does not recognize Remembrance Day as a holiday. However, some employers can give employees time off if they decide to do so.
Prince Edward Island
In Prince Edward Island, Remembrance Day is a paid holiday. Employees who qualify are those employed by the same employer for 30 calendar days prior to the holiday, who have earned pay on at least 15 of the 30 calendar days before the holiday and who have worked their last scheduled shift before the holiday and their first scheduled shift after the holiday. The third criteria may be up to the decision of the employer, according to the government.
An employee who works on a holiday and who is qualified to be paid holiday pay is entitled to receive the following:
- a regular day's pay plus one and one-half times the employee's regular rate of wages for the number of hours worked on that holiday
- regular rate of wages for the number of hours worked on that day plus another day off with the employee's regular day of pay on a date agreed upon by the employer and employee before the employee's next paid vacation
If the employee's hours of work change from day to day, or if wages change from pay to pay, the employer could average hours or wages over 30 previous days to calculate what to pay the employee for the holiday (total number of hours the employee worked in the 30 days previous to the holiday divided by the number of days worked in the same period).
If an employee meets the three qualifications listed above and is given the day off, the employer must pay a regular day's pay for that holiday. An employee who qualifies for the paid holiday but who is not scheduled to work on the paid holiday is entitled to another day off with pay.
Remembrance Day is not a statutory holiday in Quebec. Only employees covered by the Canada Labour Code are entitled to a paid holiday on these days.
Employees in Saskatchewan also get a public holiday for Remembrance Day. Employees who have been employed by the company for more than a month will receive a holiday pay equivalent to five per cent of their total earnings, including commission and vacation pay, in the four weeks leading up to the holiday.
Should employees decide to work on the holiday, they will be entitled to both public holiday pay and a premium pay of 1.5 times their hourly wage for each hour worked. Premium pay is paid on top of the employee’s public holiday pay for that day, according to the Saskatchewan government.
In Yukon, Remembrance Day is recognized as a general or statutory holiday.
If an employee works on the holiday, the employer owes them holiday pay equal to the applicable overtime rate for all hours worked on the holiday OR
they are to be paid their regular rate of pay for the hours worked on the holiday and be given a day off which may be added to their annual vacation or be granted as a day off at a time convenient to the employer and employee.
If an employee who has a day off on a general holiday must work another day in the same week that would be a non-working day otherwise, the employee is paid at a rate at least equal to the applicable overtime rate.