For Employees

BC’s First Family Day on February 11, 2013: Will you get paid what you’re entitled to?

B.C.’s newest statutory holiday, Family Day, will make its debut on Monday, February 11, 2013, breaking up that seemingly eternal period between New Year’s Day and Good Friday.

Family Day joins British Columbia’s nine other statutory holidays, which are:

  • New Year’s Day;
  • Good Friday;
  • Victoria Day;
  • Canada Day;
  • BC Day;
  • Labour Day;
  • Thanksgiving Day;
  • Remembrance Day; and
  • Christmas Day.

The Employment Standards Act sets out specific requirements for when employees are entitled to receive additional pay on statutory holidays, known as “statutory holiday pay”.

Who is entitled to receive statutory holiday pay?

In order to be eligible for statutory holiday pay, you must have been employed for 30 calendar days before the statutory holiday in question, and you must have worked or earned wages on at least 15 of the 30 days immediately before the subject statutory holiday. If you are covered by an averaging agreement or a variance at any time in the 30 days before the statutory holiday, then you do not have to meet the 15-day requirement.

If you are not eligible for statutory holiday pay, then your employer may pay you to work on the statutory holiday as if it were a regular work day.

If you are unionized employee, you should make reference to your collective agreement. Under the Employment Standards Act, the union and the employer may negotiate their own matters with respect to statutory holidays. If there is nothing in the collective agreement negotiated with respect to statutory holidays, then the statutory holiday provisions in the Employment Standards Act may apply as discussed in this post.

It should also be noted that statutory holiday pay may not apply to certain groups excluded by regulation. These include, but are not necessarily limited to, managers, agricultural workers, some commission salespersons, and high technology professionals.

How is statutory holiday pay calculated?

Statutory holiday pay is based on an “average day’s pay”, and is calculated by dividing your “total wages” earned in the 30 calendar days before the statutory holiday by the number of days you worked. Any vacation days taken during the 30 calendar days before the statutory holiday count as days worked. “Total wages” includes wages, commissions, statutory holiday pay and vacation pay but does not include overtime pay.

If you are eligible for statutory holiday pay and are given the day off work, you must be paid an average day’s pay. If the statutory holiday falls on your regular day off, you must also be paid an average day’s pay.

If you are eligible for statutory holiday pay, and you are required to work on the statutory holiday, then you are 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 on top of that.

Can another day be substituted for a statutory holiday?

Section 48 of the Employment Standards Act, says that an employer and an employee can agree to substitute another day off for a statutory holiday. An employer can also substitute another day off for a statutory holiday if the majority of employees agree to it. In this case, the statutory holiday pay requirements apply in the same manner for the substituted day.

Going forward, mark your calendar: Family Day will be held on the second Monday in February every year.

Should you have questions regarding entitlements related to Family Day, or another Statutory Holiday, please do not hesitate to contact us today.

This blog is produced by Waterstone Law Group LLP. This blog is intended for information purposes only and is not offered as legal advice for a specific claim. Subscription to or use of this site does not establish a solicitor – client relationship between the user and Waterstone Law Group LLP or any of the individual contributors. For advice relating to your employment law claim, please contact us to arrange for a consultation.

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