A Year of Holidays.

AuthorBowal, Peter
PositionColumns | Employment Law


The Christmas and New Year holiday season is a good time to reflect generally on work and legally enforced rest. This article is about the law of holidays, the legislated observance, and payment of holidays by employers across the country for the benefit of their workers.

There is substantial overlap of holidays in Canada. But you may be surprised by some of the regional variations.

Nationally Recognized Holidays

There are five national holidays--New Year's Day, Good Friday (in Quebec employers can offer Easter Monday instead), Canada Day ("Memorial Day" in Newfoundland and Labrador), Labour Day and Christmas Day.

Beyond these five common holidays, each province and territory, as well as the federal sector, has its own distinctive set of statutory holidays. This table summarizes the respective provincial and territorial employment standards legislation.

Not all statutory holidays are employer-paid days off. Just as each jurisdiction has its own holidays, they each have their own criteria for holiday pay eligibility. In addition to the standard five national holidays, the federal Canada Labour Code sets apart Victoria Day (the Monday preceding May 25), Thanksgiving Day (second Monday of October), Remembrance Day and Boxing Day.

Observed Holiday Christmas Boxing NewYear's Family Canadian Region Day Day Day Day British Columbia [[check]] X [[check]] [[check]] Alberta [[check]] X [[check]] [[check]] Saskatchewan [[check]] X [[check]] [[check]] Manitoba [[check]] X [[check]] X Ontario [[check]] [[check]] [[check]] [[check]] Quebec [[check]] [[check]] [[check]] X Nova Scotia [[check]] X [[check]] X New Brunswick [[check]] X [[check]] [[check]] Prince Edward Island [[check]] X [[check]] X Newfoundland & Labrador [[check]] X [[check]] X Yukon [[check]] X [[check]] X Northwest Territories [[check]] X [[check]] X Nunavut [[check]] X [[check]] X Observed Holiday Good Victoria Canada Labour Canadian Region Friday Day Day Day British Columbia [[check]] [[check]] [[check]] [[check]] Alberta [[check]] [[check]] [[check]] [[check]] Saskatchewan [[check]] [[check]] [[check]] [[check]] Manitoba [[check]] [[check]] [[check]] [[check]] Ontario [[check]] [[check]] [[check]] [[check]] Quebec [[check]] X [[check]] [[check]] Nova Scotia [[check]] X [[check]] [[check]] New Brunswick [[check]] X [[check]] [[check]] Prince Edward Island [[check]] X [[check]] [[check]] Newfoundland & Labrador [[check]] X X [[check]] Yukon [[check]] [[check]] [[check]]...

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