It is important that employers understand the rules around statutory holiday entitlement and pay for their staff. Paying incorrect stat holiday pay could lead to fines. You should have a stat holiday policy to correctly manage public holiday pay.
This blog provides information on the 2022 statutory holidays in Nova Scotia, stat holiday pay eligibility, and how to correctly calculate stat holiday pay.
Nova Scotia’s Labour Standards Code (LSC) lists the stat holidays for employees. Employers are obligated to provide staff with time off work and pay for the following stat holidays in 2022:
Stat holidays Nova Scotia 2022
|New Year’s Day||January 1, 2022|
|Nova Scotia Heritage Day||February 21, 2022|
|Good Friday||April 15, 2022|
|Canada Day||July 1, 2022|
|Labour Day||September 5, 2022|
|Christmas Day||December 25, 2022|
Remembrance Day (November 11) is also a paid public holiday in Nova Scotia, but it is covered by a separate law called the Remembrance Day Act.
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Is September 19 a national holiday in Canada?
Yes. The government of Canada has declared September 19 as a federal holiday and a day of mourning for Queen Elizabeth II. It will be a holiday for federal government employees.
Is September 19 a statutory holiday in Nova Scotia?
No. It is a one-time provincial holiday for provincially regulated employees. Nova Scotia will observe September 19 as a day of mourning for Queen Elizabeth II. Provincial government offices and public schools will stay closed on this day. The provincial holiday is optional for private sector businesses and employers.
Which employees qualify for stat holiday pay entitlements?
Most employees are eligible for time off work and pay on stat holidays once they begin their employment. Employees qualify for paid public holidays if they have been receiving pay for at least 15 out of the 30 calendar days before the holiday and have worked the days before and after the holiday.
Which employees are not covered by stat holiday pay rules?
The following employees do not receive stat holiday pay entitlements:
- Most staff employed on a farm
- Real estate and car salespersons
- Commissioned salespersons who make sales at locations other than at the employer’s premises, except those on an established route
- Staff who works on a fishing boat
- Those employed in the manufacturing or refining processes of the petrochemical industry
- Athletes while engaged in activities related to their athletic endeavour
- Employees who work under a collective agreement
- Other workers, including those employed in federally regulated businesses, self-employed individuals, independent contractors and employees who provide domestic service or personal care to an immediate family member in a private home and are working for the householder.
How is stat holiday pay calculated in Nova Scotia?
If an employee qualifies for stat holiday pay and works on a stat holiday, they must receive their regular day’s pay plus 1.5 times their regular wage for the hours they worked on the stat holiday.
Typically, if an employee qualifies for and does not work on a stat holiday, they are entitled to a regular day’s pay for that holiday.
What are the rules for Remembrance Day in Nova Scotia?
Remembrance Day has its own legislation, the Remembrance Day Act, which sets the rules about stat holiday pay for employees who work on November 11. Certain businesses are also prohibited from operating on Remembrance Day. For instance, most retail malls, grocery stores, big box stores are required to close on November 11. While the Act generally prohibits working, selling or purchasing goods or real estate on Remembrance Day, it allows specific exceptions for some businesses, trades and professions.
An employee who works on Remembrance Day may be entitled to another day off with pay. However, this does not apply to employees whose employers are not required to close shop on this holiday.
If an employee does not work on November 11, they do not get paid for the day unless the employer provides pay as an extra benefit.
What are retail closing days in Nova Scotia?
Some retail businesses are required to close on the following days:
- New Year’s Day
- Nova Scotia Heritage Day
- Good Friday
- Easter Sunday
- Canada Day
- Labour Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Christmas Day
- Boxing Day
Employees who work for retail businesses required to close on these days have the right to refuse to work on the closing days. Under the Labour Standards Code, they also have the right to refuse to work on Sundays.
What about non-statutory holidays in Nova Scotia?
Some days, such as Easter Monday, Victoria Day, and Natal Day, are commonly recognized as holidays but are not paid general holidays under the Labour Standards Code or retail closing days. Retail businesses are free to open and employees who have the right to refuse to work on retail closing days do not have the right to refuse to work on these days.
Employers may provide employees with additional paid holidays (such as on Easter Monday, Victoria Day, Natal Day). But these days are not recognized as paid public holidays under the Labour Standards Code or retail closing days.
Can an employer withhold stat holiday pay until after an employee’s probation period?
No. While employers are free to offer more, they cannot offer less than the minimum entitlements set down in the Code. If an employee meets the qualifications for stat holiday pay, the employer must pay the employee the correct holiday pay irrespective of how long the employee has worked for the employer.
How to manage entitlements related to stat holidays
As an employer, it is important that you understand how to correctly manage statutory holiday pay to avoid being fined. You should create a clear and comprehensive policy on statutory holiday pay and include it in your employee handbook. This will help your employees know who qualifies for stat holiday pay and who doesn’t.
Does your employee handbook include a policy for statutory holiday time off?
It is important that employers manage stat holiday pay and entitlements correctly. Peninsula’s experts can help draft a stat holiday pay and entitlement policy tailored to your business. To learn more about how our services can help your business succeed, call us today at 1 (833) 247-3652.