New Changes to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 Will Affect Calculation of New Year’s Day Holiday Pay

Written by on January 02, 2018.

Happy New Year, everyone! Effective January 1, 2018, the method used for calculating public holiday pay has changed, meaning that the way employers are required to pay qualifying employees for New Year’s Day will be different than the method used for calculating Christmas and Boxing Day pay.

Prior to January 1, employers calculated public holiday pay by taking the employee’s earnings over the previously worked four weeks and dividing that number by 20. Now, employers must base public holiday pay on the total amount of regular wages the employee earned in the last pay period the employee worked immediately before the public holiday (i.e. before January 1, 2018), and divide that number by the number of days the employee actually worked. Please note that the “first and last” rule continues to apply.

As before, if an employer and employee agree that the employee will work a public holiday, the employer must provide the employee with either: 1) regular wages on the holiday and a substitute day off with public holiday pay; or, 2) holiday pay and premium pay for each hour worked on the holiday (and not substitute day off). One new wrinkle has been added in the legislation, effective January 1: where an employer gives an employee an alternate holiday, the employer must also give the employee a written statement setting out: 1) the public holiday on which the employee will work; 2) the date of the alternate, substitute holiday; and, 3) the date on which the written statement was provided to the employee.

A number of other changes came into effect January 1, 2018 as well regarding vacation time, leaves of absence, and personal sick days. For more information on those changes, please see the relevant posts in this blog.