Do I get paid for Canada Day?

A Mountie poses for a photo on Canada Day on Parliament Hill in Ottawa July 1, 2015.
A Mountie poses for a photo on Canada Day on Parliament Hill in Ottawa July 1, 2015. (Photo: REUTERS/Patrick Doyle)

Happy 149th birthday Canada!

It’s that time of year when we celebrate our great country and get a well-earned day off.

While everyone appreciates a long weekend, there can be confusion about whether employees get paid if they work on Friday or get a paid day off.

Are employees entitled to a paid day off?

Most Canadian employees are entitled to Canada Day pay, according to the employment standard legislation of their province or territory. Though not every province or territory necessarily have the same holidays, they all celebrate Canada Day.

However, there is often a qualifier to getting general holiday pay. For example, in Nova Scotia in order to receive holiday pay, an employee has to:

  • Be entitled to receive pay for at least 15 of the 30 calendar days before the holiday; and
  • Have worked on his/her last scheduled shift or day before the holiday and on the first scheduled shift or day after the holiday.

Other provinces and territories have similar holiday pay qualifiers as well.

How much do employees get paid for that day?

Usually employees get the regular day’s pay for the holiday, unless specified otherwise in the employment standards act.

If employees are asked to work on that day, they are usually entitled to get their regular wage for that day, and one and a half times their regular wage, or a substitute day off work.

If I am a part-time employee, am I entitled to holiday pay?

As long as part-time employees fall under the employment standards act and fulfill any other conditions set out by the ESA, they qualify for holiday pay.

You should consult with your provincial or territorial employment standards act to learn more about holiday pay entitlement.

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