In Canada, statutory holidays (also referred to as public holidays) are mandated by employment standards legislation across Canada, providing employees with designated days off throughout the year. Statutory holidays are determined at the federal and provincial levels, with each jurisdiction having its own set of holidays. It is essential for employers to know the statutory holidays in their employee's province of residence and to be aware of the statutory holiday pay requirements to properly compensate employees for time off. In this blog post, we'll cover:


  1. Stat holidays by jurisdiction in 2024
  2. Statutory holiday pay: pay for time off vs. pay for time worked
  3. Employee eligibility for stat holiday pay
  4. Statutory holidays and employment termination

Statutory Holidays by Jurisdiction

In Canada, statutory holidays vary by province, meaning that employees in different regions may have different days off throughout the year. For example, certain provinces recognize Family Day in February, while others do not. There is a civic holiday in August which is optional for employers to observe in some provinces, but is considered a mandatory provincial holiday in others. To help employers navigate this complexity, below is a chart outlining the statutory holidays for each province in 2024. You can also download our 2024 Payroll Calendar here.


Stat holidays by jurisdiction chart


Statutory Holiday Pay

Stat holidays are designated by the government as public holidays. These are days when most employees are entitled to a day off with pay. However, there are differences between working on a stat holiday and receiving stat holiday pay.


Stat holiday pay is compensation that eligible employees receive for a statutory holiday, even if they don't work on that day. It is intended to provide employees with income for the day off. The calculation for stat holiday pay depends on the province or territory in Canada and may vary.

  • In most provinces and territories, stat holiday pay is typically calculated as a percentage of the employee's earnings in the 4 week period leading up to the holiday.
  • Here's an example: Let's say an employee earns $3000 ($750/week) in the 4 weeks before the work week with a public holiday, and the province mandates a 1/20th (5%) formula for stat holiday pay.
  • The employees pay would be calculated as such: $3000/20 = $150
  • The employee would be entitled to a Public Holiday Pay of $150.

Stat Holiday Worked: When an employee is required to work on a statutory holiday, they are entitled to additional compensation on top of their regular wages. This is commonly referred to as "stat holiday pay" or "premium pay." The specific rate of premium pay can also vary depending on the province or territory and employment agreements.

  • For example, some provinces may require employers to pay employees 1.5 times their regular wage for hours worked on a stat holiday. Others may require double-time pay.
  • Let's say an employee works 8 hours on a statutory holiday and their regular hourly wage is $20. If the province mandates 1.5 times the regular wage for stat holiday work, the employee would receive $30 per hour for those 8 hours worked on the stat holiday.

It's important to note that the rules regarding statutory holidays and their compensation can vary from province to province in Canada. Employers and employees should refer to their province's specific employment standards legislation or consult with a labor lawyer or payroll specialist to ensure compliance with the applicable laws and regulations.


Employee Eligibility for Stat Holiday Pay

To be eligible for stat holiday pay, employees typically must have worked a certain number of hours or days in the weeks leading up to the holiday. Each province has specific requirements regarding eligibility, so it is important for employers to understand and follow the guidelines set forth in their jurisdiction. Below is an overview of qualifications by jurisdiction:



  • Each employee is entitled to and must be provided with a paid holiday on each of the designated general holidays that occur during their period of employment.


  • Employed for at least 30 workdays in the 12 months prior to the holiday
  • Holiday falls on a regular workday
  • Worked required schedule before and after the holiday
  • Worked that day of the week 5 times in the last 9 weeks
  • Worked on the holiday if asked

British Columbia

  • Employee must be employed for at least 30 days
  • Employees must have worked or received wages on a minimum of 15 out of the 30 days preceding the statutory holiday, unless covered by an averaging agreement or exemption within the 30-day period before the holiday.


  • Employees must have worked their last scheduled work day before the holiday and their first scheduled work day after the holiday, unless they are absent due to illness or have the consent of their employer
  • Has not refused to work on the statutory holiday that falls on a regular workday if required to do so.

New Brunswick

  • Must be employed for a minimum of 90 calendar days within the 12-month period leading up to the holiday, unless returning from a leave approved by the employer.
  • Worked scheduled regular day of work both before and after the holiday unless there is a good reason for not doing so (illness is considered acceptable)
  • Worked the scheduled shift after agreeing to work the holiday unless there is a good reason for not doing so
  • Not be employed under an arrangement in which employees can decide when to work or
    when not to work

Newfoundland & Labrador

  • Actively employed at least 30 calendar days before the holiday
  • Worked the scheduled shift both before and after the holiday

Northwest Territories/Nunavut

  • Worked 30 days in the last 12 months
  • Present for duty on the holiday following a formal request to do so
  • Worked their usual scheduled workday before and after the holiday, unless their absence was approved by the employer.
  • An employee is entitled to be paid holiday pay while on
    • bereavement leave;
    • sick leave; or
    • court leave not exceeding 10 days
  •  An employee is not entitled to be paid holiday pay while on
    • pregnancy leave;
    • parental leave;
    • compassionate leave; or
    • court leave exceeding 10 days;
    • reservist leave

Nova Scotia

  • Earned wages on at least 15 out of the 30 calendar days before the holiday (such as receiving wages for sick or educational leave).
  • Completed their final scheduled shift before the holiday and commenced their first scheduled shift after the holiday (unless instructed otherwise by the employer).


  • Worked their full regularly scheduled day/shift before and their full regularly scheduled day/shift after the holiday
  • Did not fail, without reasonable cause, to work their entire shift on the holiday if they agreed to or were required to work that day

Prince Edward Island

  • Employed for 30 calendar days before the holiday
  • Earned wages on at least 15 of the 30 calendar days before the holiday
  • Worked the scheduled shifts before and after the holiday unless advised not to work by


  • The employee must have a valid reason for any absence or obtain employer consent on the working day before or after the holiday. This requirement does not apply to the June 24 National Holiday; however, the employee must have a valid reason for any absence if required to work on June 24 and must be actively employed on the National Holiday.


  • No conditions specified


  • Employed for at least 30 calendar days before the holiday
  • Reported to work when scheduled to do so on holiday
  • Worked regular schedule before and after the holiday
  • Not on an unpaid leave in 14 days preceding the holiday

Statutory Holidays and Employment Termination

In most cases where a termination date coincides with or precedes a statutory holiday, an employee must be active on the holiday to qualify for statutory holiday pay, except in Manitoba. Some employers may opt to provide payment for the holiday to avoid any perception of terminating an employee strategically to avoid holiday pay entitlement.


If an employer terminates an employee in Manitoba before a statutory holiday, the employee is entitled to receive statutory holiday pay equivalent to 5% of their total wages (excluding overtime wages but including wages in lieu of notice) for the four-week period leading up to the holiday. However, if the termination is initiated by the employee themselves, they are not eligible for statutory holiday pay.


Statutory holiday pay and wages for hours worked on a holiday are typically recorded in Block 15B (Total insurable earnings) of the Record of Employment. The presence of hours related to statutory holiday pay in Block 15A (Total insurable hours) may vary. Employers may also need to fill out Block 17B (Statutory holiday pay). In cases where an employee does not work on the statutory holiday but receives statutory holiday pay, they are considered to have been engaged in insurable employment for the standard number of hours they would have worked on that day, regardless of the actual amount paid.


Understanding and implementing a stat holiday policy is crucial for employers to ensure compliance with labor standards and foster a positive work environment. By staying informed about federal and provincial holiday legislation, statutory holiday pay, and employee eligibility requirements, employers can navigate the complexities of different jurisdictions in Canada. You can check out PayTrak's 2024 Ultimate Payroll Guide for additional resources.


We've covered the importance of statutory holidays, the calculation of stat holiday pay, employee eligibility criteria, and considerations for employment termination in relation to statutory holidays. Embracing the benefits of a well-crafted stat holiday policy can enhance employee satisfaction, promote fairness, and contribute to a harmonious work environment.

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