Determining the exact amount an employee is entitled to can be a hassle for most organizations, especially when there is a statutory holiday around the corner. It is far easier for organizations that use a payroll calculator. Stat holiday pay in Ontario is a unique pay every employer must pay to their employees during a public holiday.
Ontario recognizes nine statutory holidays throughout the year, during which employees are entitled to statutory holiday compensation, time off in lieu, or both.
Statutory Holidays in Ontario
Statutory holidays in Ontario are as follows:
- New year’s day – January 1, 2021
- Ontario Family Day – February 15, 2021
- Good Friday – April 2, 2021
- Victoria Day – April 24, 2021
- Canada Day – July 1, 2021
- Labour Day – September 6, 2021
- Thanksgiving Day – October 11, 2021
- Christmas Day – December 25, 2021
- Boxing Day – December 26, 2021
Eligibility Requirement for Stat Pay in Ontario
Generally, all employees are eligible for statutory holiday pay in Ontario. While most employees are entitled to public holidays, certain employees working in jobs not covered by the Employment Standards Act’s public holiday provisions (ESA) might not be eligible.
Currently, there is no minimum amount of time worked to qualify for stat pay in Ontario. However, an employee may not be eligible for statutory public pay if they fail to work without genuine reason. This is applicable if an employee fails to work on the last day before a statutory holiday or the first day after a statutory holiday.
When employees cannot work due to reasons beyond their control, they are usually considered to have “reasonable cause.” Employees must be able to show that they were absent from work for a valid reason. If they can, they are still entitled to public holidays.
Entitlement and Compensation for Statutory Holiday in Ontario
Below are the basic entitlement and compensations every eligible employee is entitled to during a statutory holiday in Ontario:
- Rights of Employee
Every eligible employee in Ontario can skip work on all statutory holidays and be paid stat pay.
Generally, a Statutory holiday comes with pay. To calculate your stat holiday pay in Ontario, estimate your regular wages for the past four weeks before the holiday and divide by 20.
- Premium Pay
Premium pay applies to employees who agree to work on a statutory holiday. This agreement to work must be in a written form or electronically. Once this consent is established, compensation will be made as holiday pay plus premium pay for all hours worked on the public holiday. Note that premium pay does not allow an extra day off.
- Substitute Holiday Pay
This is an alternative for premium pay. Once an employee agrees to work on a statutory holiday, compensations can be made as regular wages for all hours worked on a public holiday. Unlike premium pay, substitute pay allows an employee to add another day off in place of holiday pay.
- Vacation Pay
Eligible employees for stat pay in Ontario also qualify for vacation time off.
Calculating Stat Pay in Ontario
The formula to calculate statutory pay in Ontario is – Regular income (over four weeks) before a statutory holiday ÷ hours worked.
Divide the number of hours you worked in the four weeks leading up to the holiday (including vacation pay but excluding overtime) by twenty to calculate public holiday pay. The result is the amount of stat pay you will receive on that specific day.
The four weeks leading up to the public holiday are calculated using the employer’s workweek. Your employer could use a Sunday to Saturday workweek instead of a Monday to Sunday workweek.
Example: If you earned CA$2000.00 in the four weeks before the statutory holiday, and you worked for 20 hours, your stat pay would be = CA$100.00.
Working During a Stat Holiday in Ontario
If your employer requires you to work during a statutory holiday, you can consent to working electronically or in writing. Once you establish consent, you will either be paid:
- Your regular wages for all hours you worked for on holiday and get substitute holiday where you will also be paid holiday pay.
Note that regular wages do not include:
- Overtime pay
- Termination pay
- Severance and premium pay
- Termination of assignment pay – for temporary employees
- Personal emergency leave pay
- Domestic or sexual violence leave pay
- Any other holiday pay
- You will receive holiday pay alongside premium pay for all hours worked on the public holiday and not get any extra day off.
Remembrance Day (November 11) and Civic Holidays (First Monday in August) is also considered a holiday by some organizations alongside the holidays mentioned above.
Although these dates are not official holidays in Ontario, some companies choose to offer their employees the day off. Most provincially regulated businesses continue to operate these days and are not obligated to provide holiday or stat pay.