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Remembrance Day as a national legal holiday enacted

Remembrance DayOn 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.

Some background

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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Yosie Saint-Cyr, LL.B. Managing Editor

Managing Editor at First Reference Inc.
Yosie Saint-Cyr, LL.B., is a trained lawyer called to the Quebec bar in 1988 and is still a member in good standing. She practiced business, employment and labour law until 1999. For over 18 years, Yosie has been the Managing Editor of the following publications, Human Resources Advisor, Human Resources PolicyPro, HRinfodesk and Accessibility Standards PolicyPro from First Reference. Yosie is one of Canada’s best known and most respected HR authors, with an extensive background in employment and labour across the country. Read more
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