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Remembrance Day, public holiday in some jurisdictions and a memorial day in others

In Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, Yukon, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador Remembrance Day is a paid public (statutory) holiday under the Employment Standards Act. Employees get a day off with regular pay and/or holiday pay; if the employee is required to work on the holiday, the employee must be paid regular wages and get a substituted day off with pay at a later date (depending on the province or territory of employment). Federally regulated employees also have a holiday on Remembrance Day.

In Manitoba and Nova Scotia some employees get a day off under the Remembrance Day Act. Employees who do not work that day, do not get paid for the day, unless the employer offers pay as an added benefit. For specific requirements for your jurisdiction, consult the Library section of HRinfodesk.

When World War One ended, (or the Great War, as it was known at that time), an armistice agreement was signed between the Allies and Germany which took place in Paris, France, at 5:00 a.m. (Paris time), on Monday, November 11, 1918. Upon signing this agreement, hostilities ceased at 11:00 a.m. The poppy represents remembrance, which is the cornerstone of The Royal Canadian Legion’s work in Canada. The Poppy Campaign is a major source of funds used to assist veterans, ex-service people and their dependents. A writer first made the connection between the poppy and battlefield deaths during the Napoleonic wars of the early 19th century, remarking that fields that were barren before battle exploded with the blood-red flowers after the fighting ended. Lieut-Col. John McCrae, the Canadian doctor who wrote the poem “In Flanders Fields”, made the same connection 100 years later, during the First World War, and the scarlet poppy quickly became the symbol for soldiers who died in battle. In November 1921, the first poppies were distributed in Canada.

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Adam Gorley

Adam Gorley is a copywriter, editor and researcher at First Reference. He contributes regularly to First Reference Talks, Inside Internal Controls and other First Reference publications. He writes about general HR issues, accessibility, privacy, technology in the workplace, accommodation, violence and harassment, internal controls and more. Read more
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