Originally called 'Dominion Day,' before its name was officially changed in 1982, Canada Day marks the joining of the three separate colonies of the United Canadas, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia into a single dominion under the British Empire called 'Canada'.
It's popularly referred to as the country’s birthday, so happy 156th Canada! It’s usually a work- free day, but it’s about more than BBQs, face painting and firework displays, it also marks the country's path to autonomy, and getting its constitution.
As an employer operating in Canada, public holidays often have a direct effect on your business operations, so it’s important to take note! Follow our guidance and learn how to stay compliant with employment regulations.
Is Canada Day a statutory holiday?
Canada Day was officially made a statutory holiday in 1879 by federal law. This means most businesses are closed in all provinces and territories, and workers have the day off to celebrate.
This year, the holiday falls on a Saturday, which might raise questions for all businesses, especially those that operate from Monday to Friday or retail and hospitality businesses that operate during the weekends. You may wonder if your employees will still get a day off or if business should continue as usual.
In most jurisdictions, if a holiday falls on a weekend or on a non-working day, employers typically give staff members the following Monday or preceding Friday off. Generally, it’s determined by your province.
For essential or retail services who want to stay open and run their operations as usual, employers are still required to comply with minimum employment standards. This reduces the risk of an employment claim being filed against you.
Here are the rules if you want your employees to work on Canada Day
If you do decide to operate during a statutory holiday (e.g., Canada Day), you’ll need to enter into a written agreement with your employees because they’re entitled to a day off. And, if your employees do come into work, they’re entitled to ‘time-and-a-half-pay’ for that period, also known as ‘Premium Pay.’
It’s important to note that statutory holiday pay calculations vary across provinces. So, as best practice, you’re advised to perform your due diligence and review the employment standards legislation applicable to your jurisdiction to be sure you’re compliant with the correct premium pay calculations.
Wondering where you can access accurate employee agreements in line with employment legislation? BrightBase, our library of expertly- written HR documents has policies and templates on various workplace topics, making handling complex issues like these a breeze.
Get advice on managing your employees this Canada Day with BrightHR
Managing work schedules, calculating vacation pay and entitlements, and navigating statutory holidays can be tricky if you don't have experience doing so compliantly. It's essential you have the correct documents, schedule management software and employment relations advice for your business to run smoothly during statutory holidays.
These all go a long way to making sure your employees understand what is required of them during statutory holidays to avoid understaffing and maintain maximum productivity.
That's where BrightHR comes in. Our suite of people management software solutions and tools takes the stress out of everything from creating schedules to accessing compliant documentation, so you can focus on doing what you do best—growing your business.
Interested in learning more about how BrightHR works? book a demo today!