Employment Standards

Statutory Holidays

British Columbia

Employees governed by the ESA are entitled to ten holidays with pay each year:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Family Day
  • Good Friday
  • Victoria Day
  • Canada Day
  • B.C. Day
  • Labour Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Remembrance Day
  • Christmas Day

In B.C., Easter Monday and Boxing Day are not statutory holidays.

An employer and a majority of employees can agree to substitute another day off for a statutory holiday. The Act and Regulation apply to the substitute day as if it were the statutory holiday.

When an employee is given a day off on a statutory holiday, or it falls on a regular day off, an eligible employee is entitled to be paid an average day’s pay (s. 45, ESA). An average day’s pay is calculated by dividing “total wages” earned in the 30 calendar days before the statutory holiday by the number of days worked. Vacation days taken during this period count as days worked. “Total wages” includes wages, commissions, statutory holiday pay and vacation pay but does not include overtime pay.

An eligible employee who works on a statutory holiday is entitled to be paid time-and-a-half for the first 12 hours worked and double-time for any work over 12 hours plus an average day’s pay (s. 46, ESA).

A description of eligibility for general holiday pay may be found at: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/employment-standards-advice/employment-standards/factsheets/statutory-holidays-in-british-columbia.  For more information, consult the Employment Standards Branch fact sheet on collective agreements. The Employment Standards Branch fact sheets are prepared for general information purposes. They do not constitute legal advice. If your case involves these issues, legal advice from an experienced employment lawyer should be sought.

Certain workers are not eligible for general holidays and general holiday pay or are subject to special rules. These include managers, agriculture workers, certain commission salespersons, and high technology professionals.

Federal

Federal employees are entitled to nine holidays with pay each year:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Good Friday
  • Victoria Day
  • Canada Day
  • Labour Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Remembrance Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day

Federally, Easter Monday is not a statutory holiday, but Boxing Day is.

The CLC allows the substitution of other holidays designated in collective agreements or where the employer and at least 70% of employees agree to the substitution.

When an employee is entitled to a general holiday with pay but does not work on that day, the amount owed to the employee will depend on how the employee is paid.

An employee who works on a general holiday will be paid at a rate equal to at least one and one half times their regular rate of wages for the time that they work on the holiday.

Different calculation methods apply in the longshoring industry, in continuous operations and for managerial and professional employees.

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