Prior to the enactment of the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act 2017 (Bill 148), public holiday rules were the source of the most complaints to the MOL. While change was welcome, many employers in Ontario have questioned the wisdom behind the changes in calculating Public Holiday Pay that were ultimately imposed through Bill 148. There has been significant confusion and payroll system overhaul required to comply with the new formula.
Even though these changes were only implemented 4 months ago, the Ontario government has heeded the calls from employers and industry associations and is acting to address the concerns regarding public holiday calculations. Specifically, on May 7, 2018, the Ontario government announced that it will conduct a review of the public holiday system under Part X of the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA). The review will be conducted in 2018 by the Ministry of Labour.
As an interim measure, the government has created a new regulation, O. Reg. 375/18, that reinstates the old Public Holiday Pay formula that applied before Bill 148 was enacted. The regulation will come into effect on July 1, 2018 and will remain in place until December 31, 2019.
What does this mean for upcoming public holidays?
Since the “old” Public Holiday Pay formula will not be reinstated until July 1, 2018, it’s important for employers to ensure they make the appropriate changes to their public holiday pay calculations at the right time. In short, the “old” formula (based on the wages in the four work weeks prior to the public holiday) will not be reinstated until the Canada Day holiday.
For the upcoming Victoria Day public holiday, the Bill 148 formula to be used is as follows:
For the Canada Day public holiday and any subsequent public holiday through December 31, 2019 (or until the Government finalizes its review of the public holiday pay provisions), the following “old” formula will apply:
For employers who wish to participate in the Government’s review of the public holiday provisions, you may send your submission to email@example.com
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