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Calculating Statutory Holiday Pay in British Columbia (BC), Canada

Updated: Oct 22, 2023

Statutory Holiday Pay in British Columbia (BC)

Statutory holidays in British Columbia, like in other parts of Canada, are significant occasions that come with specific rights and benefits for employees. Among these rights is statutory holiday pay, ensuring that employees are compensated for their hard work on these special days. In this article, we'll explore how to calculate statutory holiday pay in BC, offering clarity to both employers and employees about the process and eligibility criteria.

Statutory Holidays in British Columbia

In BC, there are several statutory holidays recognized by employment standards. These holidays are significant dates, and understanding the criteria for eligibility for statutory holiday pay is essential for both employees and employers. On these days, most employees are eligible for statutory holiday pay, provided they meet certain criteria. Here's the list of statutory holidays for 2023-2024:

  • New Year's Day: Sunday, January 1

  • Family Day: Monday, February 20

  • Good Friday: Friday, April 7

  • Victoria Day: Monday, May 22

  • Canada Day: Saturday, July 1

  • B.C. Day: Monday, August 7

  • Labour Day: Monday, September 4

  • National Day for Truth and Reconciliation: Saturday, September 30

  • Thanksgiving Day: Monday, October 9

  • Remembrance Day: Saturday, November 11

  • Christmas Day: Monday, December 25

Eligibility for Statutory Holiday Pay

To qualify for statutory holiday pay in British Columbia, employees must meet specific requirements. Generally, an employee must have:

  1. Worked and earned wages on at least 15 of the 30 days before the statutory holiday. This ensures that the employee has an active work history leading up to the holiday.

  2. Worked their scheduled shifts before and after the holiday (unless they have a valid reason for not doing so). This requirement encourages employees to fulfill their work commitments around the holiday.

  3. Received wages for at least 30 of the 90 days before the statutory holiday. This helps maintain a consistent income pattern for employees.

If these conditions are met, an employee is entitled to statutory holiday pay.

Calculating Statutory Holiday Pay

The formula for calculating statutory holiday pay in BC is relatively straightforward:

Statutory Holiday Pay = Total Wages Earned ÷ Number of Days Worked

Here's a more detailed breakdown:

Total Wages Earned: This includes all forms of compensation received in the 30 calendar days before the statutory holiday. This comprises regular wages, salary, commissions, statutory holiday pay, paid vacation, and paid sick days mandated by employment standards. However, it does not include overtime pay. Including these components helps ensure that the calculation truly reflects an employee's regular earnings and benefits.

Number of Days Worked: This encompasses all days during the 30-day period when wages were earned, such as regular workdays, paid vacation days, other paid statutory holidays, and paid sick days required by employment standards. This comprehensive approach accounts for all days when wages are earned, regardless of whether the employee was physically present at the workplace.

Example Calculations

Scenario 1: Statutory Holiday Pay Calculation

Suppose an employee named Sarah has earned a total of $3,000 in the 30 days leading up to the statutory holiday. During that same period, she worked for 20 days.
Her statutory holiday pay would be calculated as follows:
Total Wages Earned: $3,000
Number of Days Worked: 20 days
Using the formula:
Statutory Holiday Pay = Total Wages Earned ÷ Number of Days Worked
Statutory Holiday Pay = $3,000 ÷ 20 days = $150 per day
Therefore, Sarah is entitled to get $150 in statutory holiday pay.

Scenario 2: Extra Pay for Working on a Statutory Holiday

If an employee works on a statutory holiday in BC, they are generally entitled to extra pay. This typically involves being paid time-and-a-half for hours worked on the holiday and, in some cases, double-time for hours worked beyond a certain threshold, often after 12 hours.
For example, let's say Sarah worked 8 hours on a statutory holiday. To calculate her pay for that day:
Regular Wage: Sarah's regular wage for a day is $15 per hour.
Time-and-a-Half (1.5x): For the hours worked on the holiday, she is paid time-and-a-half.
Time-and-a-Half Calculation: 8 hours x $15 x 1.5 = $180
Therefore, Sarah would receive $180 for working 8 hours on the statutory holiday.

Scenario 3: Statutory Holiday on a Day Off

Even if an employee has a regular or scheduled day off that falls on a statutory holiday, they may still be eligible for statutory holiday pay. In this case, they would receive an average day's pay, calculated as described in Scenario 1.
For example, if Sarah's scheduled day off coincided with a statutory holiday, her statutory holiday pay would be calculated as follows:
Total Wages Earned: $3,000
Number of Days Worked: 20 days
Statutory Holiday Pay = $3,000 ÷ 20 days = $150 per day
In this scenario, Sarah would receive $150 as her statutory holiday pay, even though it's her scheduled day off.

What to Do if Statutory Holiday Pay Is Not Received

If you qualify for statutory holiday pay in British Columbia but do not receive it, there are steps you can take to address the issue:
Speak to Your Employer: Start by discussing the matter with your employer. They may be unaware of the oversight and can rectify it promptly.
Contact Employment Standards: If your employer does not resolve the issue, consider contacting Employment Standards in BC for guidance and assistance. They can help you understand your rights and the steps to rectify the situation.
Submit a Formal Complaint: If all else fails, you have the option to submit a formal complaint to ensure your rights are upheld, and that you receive the statutory holiday pay you deserve. This is a necessary step to protect your entitlements.

In conclusion, understanding how to calculate statutory holiday pay is crucial for both employees and employers in British Columbia. It ensures that employees are fairly compensated for their work during statutory holidays and helps maintain compliance with employment standards. By following these guidelines, both employees and employers can contribute to a fair and harmonious workplace environment in BC.


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