Ontario’s Statutory Holidays 2024: Rules and Pay for Workers

Statutory holidays, also known as public holidays, are designated days recognized by the government when most businesses close and employees are entitled to time off with pay. Understanding your rights and obligations surrounding these holidays is crucial for both employers and employees in Ontario.

This article provides a comprehensive overview of statutory holidays in Ontario for 2024, including the schedule, labour rules, and pay regulations.

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Statutory Holidays in Ontario for 2024

Ontario observes nine statutory holidays throughout the year. Here’s a list of these holidays along with the dates they fall on in 2024:

  • New Year’s Day: Monday, January 1
  • Family Day: Monday, February 19
  • Good Friday: Friday, March 29
  • Victoria Day: Monday, May 20
  • Canada Day: Monday, July 1
  • Labour Day: Monday, September 2
  • Thanksgiving Day: Monday, October 14
  • Christmas Day: Wednesday, December 25
  • Boxing Day: Thursday, December 26

Important Note: Remember that Remembrance Day (November 11) and Civic Holiday (the first Monday in August) are not statutory holidays in Ontario. While some employers may choose to observe these days as holidays, they are not obligated to do so by law.

Statutory Holiday Pay in Ontario

In Ontario, most employees are entitled to statutory holiday pay, even if they don’t work on the actual holiday. This entitlement applies if the statutory holiday falls on a regular workday or if you work on the holiday itself (which isn’t a regular workday).

Qualifying for Statutory Holiday Pay:

Qualifying for statutory holiday pay is generally straightforward. Here are the main criteria:

  • You must have worked for your employer for at least 30 workdays within the 12 months preceding the holiday.
  • You must have worked your scheduled shift on your last regularly scheduled workday before the holiday and your first scheduled workday after the holiday (unless you have reasonable cause for missing work, such as illness or injury).
Calculating Statutory Holiday Pay:

The statutory holiday pay formula in Ontario is as follows:

Statutory Holiday Pay = (Employee’s Regular Wages + Vacation Pay Payable to the Employee) / 20

  • Employee’s Regular Wages: This refers to the wages you earned in the four work weeks leading up to the workweek with the public holiday.
  • Vacation Pay Payable to the Employee: This refers to the vacation pay you’ve accrued in the four work weeks before the workweek with the public holiday.

The resulting amount represents the statutory holiday pay you’ll receive for the specific holiday.

Working on a Statutory Holiday:

If you’re required to work on a statutory holiday, you’re entitled to additional compensation on top of your regular holiday pay. In Ontario, you have the option to choose between:

  • Premium Pay: This is typically 1.5 times your regular rate of pay (time and a half) for all hours worked on the holiday, on top of your statutory holiday pay.
  • Substitute Holiday: Your employer can offer you a substitute day off with pay instead of premium pay. You and your employer would need to agree on a date for this substitute day off within three months of the statutory holiday, or within 12 months with a written agreement.

Labour Standards for Statutory Holidays in Ontario

Ontario's Statutory Holidays 2024: Rules and Pay for Workers

There are specific labour standards employers must adhere to regarding statutory holidays. Here’s a breakdown of some key points:

  • Employer Notification: Before a statutory holiday, your employer is obligated to inform you in writing if you’ll be required to work on the holiday. This notification should also outline the date of your substitute day off (if applicable) and the date you receive this information.
  • “Last and First” Rule: To be eligible for statutory holiday pay, you must generally work your scheduled shifts before and after the holiday unless you have a valid reason for missing work.
  • Substitute Day Off: If you work on a public holiday and receive a substitute day off, it must be taken within three months of the holiday (with a written agreement, it can be extended to 12 months).
  • Statutory Holiday on Scheduled Day Off: If a statutory holiday falls on your regular day off, you may be entitled to an additional paid day off added to your annual vacation or taken at another mutually agreeable time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Statutory Holidays in Ontario

1. Is Easter Monday a Statutory Holiday in Ontario?

No, Easter Monday is not a statutory holiday in Ontario. However, some employers may choose to recognize it as a paid holiday.

2. Is a Civic Holiday a Statutory Holiday in Ontario?

Civic Holiday is not a statutory holiday in Ontario. This means businesses are not legally obligated to close or provide employees with a paid day off. However, some employers may choose to observe Civic Holiday as a paid holiday or offer a substitute day off.

3. What is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation?

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a federal statutory holiday observed on September 30th each year. It honours the lost children and Survivors of Residential Schools. While this is a federal holiday, it is not a statutory holiday in Ontario. However, some employers in the province may choose to recognize it as a paid day off.

4. How Many Paid Statutory Holidays Are There in Ontario in 2024?

There are nine paid statutory holidays in Ontario in 2024:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Family Day
  • Good Friday
  • Victoria Day
  • Canada Day
  • Labour Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day

5. What Happens if a Statutory Holiday Falls on a Weekend?

If a statutory holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday (such as in the case of Canada Day in 2024), you are entitled to one of two options:

  • Substitute Day Off with Pay: Your employer can offer you another day off with pay in lieu of the holiday. This substitute day off should be taken within three months of the statutory holiday, although a written agreement can extend this to 12 months.
  • Statutory Holiday Pay: You can receive your regular statutory holiday pay without receiving an additional day off.

Understanding Your Rights and Responsibilities

Knowing your rights and responsibilities regarding statutory holidays in Ontario is crucial. If you have any questions or concerns about your entitlements, it’s best to consult your employment contract or directly contact your employer’s human resources department.

The Ontario Ministry of Labour website also offers valuable resources and information on statutory holidays: https://www.ontario.ca/page/ministry-labour-immigration-training-skills-development

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By understanding the rules and regulations surrounding statutory holidays, you can ensure you receive the appropriate compensation and time off you’re entitled to as an employee in Ontario.

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