Quick Answers to Common Questions: Calculating Stat Holiday Pay

In the first of a line of articles I’m calling Quick Answers to Common Questions, today I’m going to have a look at properly calculating statutory holiday pay under the BC Employment Standards Act.


First, note that these calculations apply to provincially regulated companies. If you work in industries such as intra-provincial or international transportation, telecommunications, banking, for an Indian Band or a Federal Crown corporation, you are likely subject to the Canada Labour Code and this answer won’t apply to you.

British Columbia recognizes 10 statutory holidays: New Year’s Day; Family Day; Good Friday; Victoria Day; Canada Day; British Columbia Day; Labour Day; Thanksgiving Day; Remembrance Day and Christmas Day. While many businesses celebrate other days off during the year (think Easter Monday and Boxing Day), these are not official stat holidays and are not subject to these rules (although your generous employer may pay them out the same way).

In order to qualify for a statutory holiday, the employee must be employed for at least 30 days and must have worked at least 15 of the 30 calendar days preceding the statutory holiday. So what does that mean for the part-time worker working 2 shifts a week? Sorry, but you’re not entitled to holiday pay. The same goes for a number of professions exempt from stat holiday pay, including managers, high technology professionals (as defined by regulations) and commissioned sales people.

Assuming that someone is entitled to stat holiday pay, calculating what is to be paid to them is actually a relatively straight forward calculation:

amount paid ÷ days worked
amount paid is the amount paid or payable to the employee for work that is done during and wages that are earned within the 30 calendar day period preceding the statutory holiday, including vacation pay that is paid or payable for any days of vacation taken within that period, less any amounts paid or payable for overtime, and
days worked is the number of days the employee worked or earned wages within that 30 calendar day period.

To give a simple example, Jane earned $4,350 over the course of the past 30 days, working 21 shifts. However, in this time she earned $150 in overtime. To calculate her stat holiday pay:

($4,350-$150) / 21 = $200

So Jane is entitled to $200 if she is given the day off. But what is she entitled to earn if she is required to work on a statutory holiday? Section 46 of the Employment Standards Act reads:

46  An employee who works on a statutory holiday must be paid for that day

(a) 1 1/2 times the employee’s regular wage for the time worked up to 12 hours,

(b) double the employee’s regular wage for any time worked over 12 hours, and

(c) an average day’s pay, as determined using the formula in section 45 (1).

Not only would Jane be entitled to the $200 previously calculated, she would also be entitled to 1.5x her regular salary for the holiday she was required to work.

At Kent Employment Law, we promote sustainable employment relationships. We believe that these relationships are mutually beneficial to employers and employees alike, and are founded on a relationship of trust and respect. If your business has questions concerning the proper calculation of statutory holiday pay or Employment Standards compliance, please contact one of our offices.

David M. Brown
Kent Employment Law
LinkedIn: https://ca.linkedin.com/in/davidmjbrown
Twitter: @davidmjbrown

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