Managing Easter absences

It’s almost Easter but that doesn’t always mean your business takes a break. Discover the HR issues you could encounter this statutory holiday weekend…

First published on Tuesday, Mar 26, 2024

Last updated on Wednesday, Mar 27, 2024

2 min read

Although some of us are looking forward to a long weekend, statutory holidays are just normal working days for most businesses.

For some small and medium-sized businesses in Canada, festive periods are among the busiest periods in the calendar year.

Whether the Easter long weekend is a big business period for your company or if your operations will continue with a skeleton staff, if a working day falls on a statutory holiday that means you may encounter HR issues.

In fact, you might encounter more HR issues than normal and here’s why…

Holiday confusion

Easter has a habit of moving around the calendar and this can cause you a real headache. If you don’t keep an eye on the Easter dates, you could end up like a deer in headlights.

For example, Easter weekend landed in mid-April in 2022, early-April in 2023, and Easter Sunday falls on the last day of March this year.

Keeping an eye on these dates is important to make sure you account for any work deadlines, and to keep your payroll compliant.

Speaking of payroll...

Managing statutory holiday pay

Under employment standards legislation, eligible employees are entitled to a day off with pay during statutory holidays.

If you have employees working on a statutory holiday, generally, they are entitled to premium statutory holiday pay calculated as time and half pay for hours worked on that day at an average day’s pay. Employees that work overtime on a statutory holiday are also usually entitled to double time pay for hours worked over 12 hours.

These rates are generally higher than their normal pay rate and depending on how long they work, your employee may receive over 200% of their usual pay rate on a statutory holiday.

It’s important that you stay compliant with your payroll or you could face costly fines.

Remember, statutory holiday pay calculations vary across Canadian jurisdictions, so if you need help navigating obligations under relevant employment legislation, reach out to our team of employment relations experts through our BrightAdvice 24/7 phone line.

Handling parent vacation requests

Schools out. And that means you might be receiving more vacation requests than usual for Easter. Well, that’s according to our BrightHR data…

Data from previous years has revealed that vacation absence soared by 299% during the weeks on either side of Easter weekend. That’s compared to the average vacation absence per day.

How can you avoid getting bombarded with last-minute vacation requests? Make sure you have a comprehensive vacation policy in place, so your employees know exactly how vacation is allocated and the process they need to follow.

The easiest way to manage absences over Easter

With everything else you already have to contend with, you need a simple way to manage absences. And scraps of paper just won’t cut it…

Make your vacation management easier this Easter (and beyond) with BrightHR’s easy-to-use vacation planning software. Having the right tools in place to easily flag vacation clashes, and accept or decline vacation requests in seconds, can help you make sure you stay adequately staffed through any statutory holiday.

Try it for yourself. Book your free BrightHR demo today.

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