Update: This post was originally published in April 2018 and has been revised for accuracy.
New Ontario Public Holiday Pay Changes to be Reversed
On May 7, 2018, the Ontario Government announced a review of the public holiday system to re-evaluate changes introduced earlier this year through Bill 148. Particularly, where holiday pay calculations are concerned, the Ministry of Labour has received a high number of complaints from small business owners strongly voicing their discouragement to hire casual or part-time employees due to the high costs of doing so. The holiday pay reversal will come into effect as of July 1, 2018; however, will not result in retroactive pay changes. Until then, holiday pay calculations will continue following the formulas below.
This is how Holiday Pay Affects Your Business
Did you know? Most employers must give their employees a day off work with pay, for all public holidays; this is also referred to as, ‘stat holiday pay’. While there are some job categories that are exempt, most employers must follow the Employment Standards Act (ESA) when it comes to providing public holiday days off with pay.
There are 9 Public Holidays in Ontario
In Ontario, there are nine days throughout the year that the ESA considers for holiday pay:
- New Year’s Day
- Family Day
- Good Friday
- Victoria Day
- Canada Day
- Labour Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Christmas Day
- Boxing Day
As an employer, you may choose to give your employees additional time off on top of the nine public holiday days; however, you are not required to. Some of these non-stat holidays include Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, Civic Holiday, and Remembrance Day.
Who gets holiday pay?
Your employee has the right to holiday leave and pay as of their hire date, whether they are full-time, part-time, permanent or on term contract. To get the time off with pay, your employee must have worked before and after the public holiday. This is known as the Last and First Rule, meaning, they must work their last regularly scheduled work day and first regularly scheduled work day before and after the public holiday.
Here are 7 Ways to Calculate Holiday Pay
To calculate holiday pay, you’ll need to determine the type of situation that applies to your employee. There are seven cases they may be in: 1. Regular work schedule (typical case): when salaried employees work their regularly scheduled work days before and after the public holiday
- Regular wages earned ÷ the number of days worked in the pay period before the public holiday
2. Irregular work schedule (no set hours): when your hourly-paid employees work their scheduled work days before and after the public holidays
- Regular wages earned for the hours worked ÷ the number of days worked in the pay period before the public holiday
3. On vacation or personal emergency leave: when your employee has taken either leave immediately after the public holiday
- Regular wages earned in the pay period before the vacation ÷ the number of days worked in the pay period before the vacation
4. Newly hired: when your employee was not yet employed during the pay period before the public holiday and pay is calculated using the pay period of the public holiday
- Regular wages earned during the pay period that includes the holiday ÷ the number of days worked in the pay period that includes the holiday
5. On temporary layoff: when your salaried employee is temporarily laid off during a public holiday
- Entitlement is $0 in holiday pay
6. Public holiday pay plus premium: when your employee agrees electronically or in writing to work on a public holiday, without taking a substitute day off (you must provide holiday and premium pay)
- Holiday Pay: Regular wages earned ÷ the number of days worked in the pay period before the public holiday
- Premium Pay: (Regular wages earned x 1.5) x hours worked
7. Substitute holiday: when your employee agrees electronically or in writing to work on a public holiday, and takes another working day off instead
- Regular wages earned ÷ the number of days worked in the pay period before the substitute holiday day off
Are you calculating holiday pay correctly? It’s always a good idea to ask an HR expert if you’re unsure.