“Canada Day” Or “July 1st”: Which Is The “Holiday” For Employees?
June 14, 2012
As any Canadian knows, July 1st – Canada Day – is the first long weekend of the summer; or is it? This year, July 1st falls on a Sunday. The federal Holidays Act states that in such a case, Canada Day is observed on Monday, July 2nd, making this a legal holiday across Canada. The interaction between the Holidays Act and the various provincial employment standards and retail closing legislation creates some confusion for provincially regulated employers: to what holiday-related statutory benefits are employees entitled on which day? The answer differs depending upon the Province in which the business is located.
N.S. employment standards and retail closing legislation refer to “Canada Day”, and not “July 1”. Therefore, in accordance with the Holidays Act, when July 1st falls on a Sunday, most employers in N.S. must treat July 2nd as the Canada Day general holiday and a designated retail closing day.
N.B.’s employment standards and retail closing legislation also refer to “Canada Day”. Thus, similar to the N.S. situation, when Canada Day falls on a Sunday, most employers in N.B. must treat July 2nd as a public statutory holiday under employment standards legislation, and must also comply with the days of rest legislation (unless the business is exempt from it).
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
P.E.I.’s retail closing legislation does not designate either Canada Day or July 1st as a day on which businesses must close; thus, there is no obligation to close on Sunday, July 1st, subject to Sunday closing legislation. However, P.E.I.’s employment standards legislation refers to “Canada Day”. Thus, as in N.S. and N.B., when July 1st falls on a Sunday, most employers must treat July 2nd as a statutory holiday under the employment standards legislation.
NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR
NL’s retail closing legislation mandates closure on “Memorial Day or Canada Day (July 1)”; the employment standards legislation refers to the holiday simply as “Memorial Day”. Therefore, when July 1st falls on a Sunday, the Holidays Act has no effect on the July 1st public holiday for NL’s provincially regulated employers.
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