Although most commonly referred to as “Civic Holiday”, the holiday is referred to differently across Canada. For instance, in British Columbia, the holiday is referred to as British Columbia Day and in Manitoba, the holiday is named Terry Fox Day. The name of the holiday is not the only thing that differs between the provinces and territories; the legal status of the holiday also varies. That is, in some provinces and territories, the first Monday in August is considered a statutory holiday (a.k.a. public holiday), while in others it is not.
Public (statutory) holiday
In British Columbia, New Brunswick, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Saskatchewan, the first Monday in August is considered a statutory holiday under employment/labour standards law. Employees are therefore entitled to a day off with pay on that day. If an 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.
Discretionary day off
In Alberta, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Yukon and for federally regulated employers, the first Monday in August is not a recognized paid statutory holiday under employment/labour standards law. Although not recognized as a paid statutory holiday, the first Monday in August may be a discretionary day off with or without pay; this decision rests with employers. It is important to note that in some provinces, such as Alberta and Manitoba, a discretionary holiday is subject to the same rules as all other statutory holidays.
When it comes to unionized workplaces, in provinces where the first Monday in August is not a statutory holiday, this holiday may have been negotiated in their collective agreements as a paid day off.
For specific requirements for your jurisdiction, consult one of our HR/Payroll publications, The New PaySource®. This resource is always up to date with the latest payroll developments and offers dozens of exclusive time-saving resources.