On March 1, 2018, An Act to amend the Holidays Act (Remembrance Day) (Bill C-311) received royal assent to recognize Remembrance Day (November 11) as a national legal holiday. The Act is law but not yet in force and requires proclamation.
Bill C-311, An Act to amend the Holidays Act (Remembrance Day) changes the wording and status of Remembrance Day in the federal Holidays Act by making it a legal holiday, like Canada Day and Victoria Day.
At present, provinces and territories determine which days are public holidays. Remembrance Day is recognized as a statutory holiday for federally regulated workers under the Canada Labour Code. In Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan and Yukon, Remembrance Day is a statutory holiday under their respective employment/labour standards law. The legislation now passed, will force provinces and territories that don’t recognize November 11 as a statutory holiday to revisit their own employment/labour standards legislation.
Under Manitoba’s and Nova Scotia’s Remembrance Day Act, most industries are not allowed to operate on Remembrance Day, with exceptions. For instance, in Manitoba, the following industries are allowed to operate: hospital employees; hotel and restaurant employees; workers who do emergency repairs; and workers who supply heat, gas, light, water or electrical services, just to name a few. Employees who do not work on November 11 do not get paid for the day, unless the employer offers pay as an added benefit.
In Ontario Remembrance Day is not a statutory holiday. While some employers give their employees a holiday on Remembrance Day, they are not required to do so under the Employment Standards Act, 2000.
Remembrance Day is not a statutory holiday in Quebec, as well.
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