The first Monday of August is a general holiday for employees in many parts of Canada. It is a public (statutory) holiday in some provinces and territories, but in others it has another legal status. It is often called the “August Holiday”, “Civic Holiday”, “Simcoe Day” (around Ontario), “Provincial Day”, “Heritage Day”, “Natal Day”, or other local names.
In the provinces and territories of British Columbia, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, the first Monday in August is considered the province’s national day and is a public (statutory) holiday. Employees get a day off with regular pay or public 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.
In the provinces and territory of Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Yukon, plus at federally regulated companies, the first Monday in August/civic holiday may be a discretionary day off with or without pay, but is not a recognized paid public (statutory) holiday under Employment/Labour Standards legislation. However, in some provinces such as Manitoba and Alberta, a discretionary holiday must be subject to the same rules as all other public (statutory) holidays. For specific requirements for your jurisdiction, consult the Library section of HRinfodesk.
On the first Monday in August and, in some places, throughout the first week of August, various events are held to celebrate aspects of local culture, history and achievement. Many celebrations are low-key and are organized by community members. These include making and distributing birthday cakes for the province, sports events and communal meals, such as breakfasts, barbecues, lunches and suppers. Larger events include professional displays of fireworks, road races and cultural festivals.
First Reference Inc. Human Resources and Compliance Managing Editor