Holidays are a time for friends, family, giving, and, most importantly, getting some much-needed, province-mandated time off of work.
However, just because it’s Family Day doesn’t mean that everyone gets a day off, seeing as gas stations, fast food restaurants, and a number of other services operate 365 days of the year.
Unfortunately that means that while most of us are enjoying a day off, a few people are still stuck at work — though they’ll be getting a bit of a bonus for working on those specific days.
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For all you February 17 workers out there, statutory holidays can currently go one of a few ways.
Either you get to take it off, meaning a day on the couch while still making your average wage – calculated as 5% of the employee’s wages, general holiday, and vacation pay earned in the four weeks immediately preceding the general holiday – or you’re stuck at work, but making time and a half.
Of course, it’s not all as straightforward as that. If you are working on a stat holiday, you may only be paid your standard wage rate, but you are then entitled to a day off at a future date along with your average daily wage for that day off.
Keep in mind that, according to Alberta law, “most employees are entitled to general holidays and receive general holiday pay if one of the following applies to them”:
- a general holiday is a regular day of work, or
- they have worked on a general holiday that is not a regular day of work
An employee is not entitled to general holiday pay when they:
- don’t work on a general holiday but are required or scheduled to do so
- are absent from employment without consent of the employer on the employee’s last regular working day preceding, or first regular working day following, the general holiday
However, some new rules have come into place that allow for employers to omit any of the above bonuses (be it time and a half or a day off down the road) if the employee in question has not “worked for the same employer for at least 30 workdays in the 12 months prior to the holiday.”
So if you’re somewhat new to the job, you may be out of luck!
Here’s what the Province of Alberta’s website says specifically about Family Day:
To be eligible for general holiday pay for Family Day, employees must:
work their scheduled shift before and after the holiday (unless employer consent is given for the absence)
work on the general holiday if required and scheduled to do so
The full details of the current rules can be found here.
And the best way to find out how you’ll be paid for stat holidays? Just ask your employer.