Everything You Need To Know About STAT Holidays

What are Statutory Holidays in Canada-A Guide to the Employment Standard Act

STAT holidays are great and everyone looks forward to them as it allows workers to get a day off without any disruptions in their paycheck. The Employment Standard Act (ESA) is a law that governs how many days off employees get in Canada (including STAT holidays). It also outlines what an employee should be paid during these holidays.  In this article we will explore the ESA, statutory holiday eligibility and what you need to know about statutory pay!

What are Statutory Holidays

Statutory holidays essentially paid days off. They allow for employees to be given a minimum number of days off. These statutory holidays are religious celebrations and national holidays. There are two types of STAT holidays in Canada, federal and provincial holidays. Federal Statutory holidays are provided in the Canada Labour Code and Provincial Statutory Holidays are recognized by each province’s Employment Standards Act. An employer is obligated to provide a paid statutory holiday to eligible employees under both federal and provincial legislation, but they do have some discretion when it comes to which days will be given off.

Federal STAT Holidays

  • New Year’s day
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Monday (only for federal employees)
  • Canada Day
  • Labour Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Day
  • National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (only for federal employees)

Ontario Provincial STAT Holidays

  • Family Day
  • Victoria Day
  • Civic Holiday
  • Boxing Day

Who Is Eligible for Statutory Holidays

Eligibility for Statutory Holidays is not automatic. In order to be eligible, an employee must have been employed for a minimum of 30 calendar days in the current or preceding year and worked or earned wages on 15 of the 30 days before the statutory holiday.

How Are Statutory Holidays Calculated

Federal Employees: Workers covered by the Canada Labour Code must receive 9 paid federal statutory holidays. There is no requirement under the legislation to provide pay for other types of time off (besides overtime) such as personal or emergency leave.  

Provincial Employees: Workers covered by the Employment Standards Act are entitled to either paid statutory holidays or pay in lieu of these days. If an employer provides more than the legislated minimum for some other type of leave, e.g., generous sick leave benefits, this extra “ins” would probably count as a substitute for statutory holiday pay.

Overall you’re workers are most likely covered by both the Canada Labour Code and your provincial’s Employment Standards Act. For a list of careers industries that exempt for these two laws go to your provincial website.

How Do You Calculate STAT Pay?

In order to calculate statutory pay, you take the regular wages earned, including vacation pay in the 4 work weeks before taxes and statutory deductions leading up to the STAT holiday. Then divide by 20. This will give you how much you have to pay for the public holiday.

The Ontario government also has a free public holiday pay calculator that you can use: public holiday pay calculator

If you’re an employee that has to work on the holiday, like an essential worker. Your employer can do a few things.

  1. Provide another day off within 28 days of the holiday.
  2. Give 1.5x your hourly rate for each hour worked
  3. Give you time in lieu (time in lieu is time off instead of being paid overtime)

Always contact your employer first as they’ll know what rules and guidelines apply to you.

In Canada, statutory holidays are paid days off. An employer is obligated to provide a paid statutory holiday or pay in lieu thereof under both federal and provincial legislation but they do have some discretion when it comes to which day(s) will be given off.  Eligibility for Statutory Pay is not automatic; an employee must have been employed for at least 30 calendar days in the current year or previous year and worked 15 of those 30 before the stat holiday in order

If you’re still confused about statutory pay and how it looks like for your employees, don’t hesitate to reach out.