What are Ontario’s 9 Statutory Holidays?

Statutory holidays, are defined in the Employment Standards Act (ESA) under “Public Holidays”. Ontario has nine (9) public holidays:

  1. New Year’s Day
  2. Family Day
  3. Good Friday
  4. Victoria Day
  5. Canada Day
  6. Labour Day
  7. Thanksgiving Day
  8. Christmas Day
  9. Boxing Day

Statutory Holiday Entitlement and Stat Pay

Your employees are legally entitled to take statutory holiday days off work, and receive the appropriate public holiday pay (otherwise known as stat pay). The pay rate of time-and-a-half is applicable to employees in Ontario, who work any of the public holidays listed above. Holiday pay is calculated as regular wages earned by the employee in the pay period before the public holiday, divided by the number of days the employee worked in that period. For example, an employee who has earned $1000.00 during the pay period prior to the holiday day and has worked for 5 days, would be paid $200.00.

Note that, statutory holiday days are in addition to vacation time off. Under written consent, an employee can agree to work on a statutory holiday with stat pay accordingly:

  • Premium Pay: Holiday pay plus premium pay for all hours worked on a public holiday; this does not allow another day off
  • Substitute Holiday: Regular wage pay for all hours worked on a public holiday; this allows another day off in lieu, with holiday pay

It is important to note that if the employee was not working for you during the pay period prior to the holiday, you would need to use the regular wages earned in the pay period that includes the public holiday. Regular wages do not include overtime or premium pay.

When it comes to stat pay, employers should understand these terms: gross regular wages, work week, and vacation pay payable. If unsure, employers should take advice on how holiday pay is calculated appropriately to avoid legal challenges.

Are you an employer with questions about Ontario’s statutory holidays?

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