It is the season once again when employers will be dealing with the frustrating intricacies of setting Stat holiday hours for their staff calendar and calculating the associated pay for their efforts. But what happens when primary Stats like Christmas fall on a regular day off, such as the weekend?
Well, as it happens, this year Christmas Day falls on a Sunday, Boxing Day follows on Monday, and New Years’ Day the following Sunday.
So, here is a reminder of some key points you may want to review with respect to employee entitlements under the BC Employment Standards Act.
Do employees automatically get Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Years’ Day off of work? Actually, No:
- Christmas Day and New Years’ Day are Stat holidays in BC. However, while traditionally given as a holiday to many employees, Boxing Day is not a Stat holiday in BC (it is in Ontario, as well as for federally regulated entities);
- There is no obligation to provide a day off in lieu of the Statutory Christmas Day and New Years’ Day holiday when it falls on a weekend;
- Employers are able to enter into agreements with specific employees to substitute a different day for a Stat holiday;
- Employers may also come to an agreement with a majority of its employees to substitute a different day for a Stat holiday; and
- When an employee is given the day off for a Stat holiday, OR if the Stat falls on a regular day off (such as with Christmas Day in 2016 and this New Years’ Day in 2017), the employee is still entitled to Stat holiday pay.
Are all employees entitled to Stat Holiday pay? Generally, Yes, but with caveats:
- All employees (full and part-time) are treated the same for Stat holiday pay purposes; and
- Employees are only entitled to Stat holiday pay if they have worked OR earned wages in 15 of the 30 calendar days prior to the Stat unless the employees worked under an averaging agreement at any time during the 30 days preceding the holiday, in which case the employees are entitled to holiday pay even if they did not meet the 15-day threshold for that statutory holiday.
How do you calculate the pay entitlement? Depends if employees worked on the Stat:
- Any employee who does not work on a Stat holiday must be paid an “average day’s pay.” That amount is calculated by dividing the amount the employee has been paid during the 30 days preceding the Stat (including vacation pay, LESS amounts paid or payable for OT) by the number of days the employee worked within that same 30-day period; and
Any employee who does work on a Stat holiday must be paid 1.5 times their regular wage for time worked on the Stat up to 12 hours, and 2 times their regular wage for time worked on the Stat over 12 hours PLUS 1 average day’s pay calculated using the formula outlined above.