If you employ or are interested in employing Canadian workers, understand it’s hard (even for Canadians) to keep up with ever changing Canadian employment rules! Here at The Payroll Edge, we are often asked for information regarding vacation pay and statutory holiday pay, its meaning and entitlement. This is our first blog in the series ‘Employee Vacation & Stat Holiday Entitlement’ where we review these topics by province.
Trust us –we’re Canada’s Professional Employer Organization of choice.
If you employ Canadian workers in the province of Quebec, you need to verse yourself on the minimum employment standards in that province. Quebec employees’ rights to stat holidays and annual vacation time are governed by the ‘Act Respecting Labour Standards’ or ‘ALS’.
What do Employers need to know about Statutory Holiday Time off & Pay in Quebec?
All Quebecois employees working on a part time or full time basis are entitled to the following statutory holidays with pay:
1. New Year’s Day on January 1st
2. Good Friday or Easter Monday (One of these is mandatory but left to the employer’s discretion)
3. The Monday preceding May 25th (National Patriots Day)
4. June 24th (St. John the Baptiste Day)
5. July 1st or July 2nd when the 1st falls on a Sunday (Canada Day)
6. The 1st Monday in September (Labour Day)
7. The 2nd Monday in October (Thanksgiving)
8. Christmas Day on December 25th
Employers are required to pay part time or full time employees 1/20 of the wages employees earned during the four (4) weeks preceding the statutory holiday, excluding overtime.
For employees partially or wholly paid based on commission, employers must pay 1/60 of the wages earned during the preceding twelve (12) weeks.
If by nature of the business, the Canadian employee works on a statutory holiday, you as the employer has the option to pay them for that day their typical wages for the work completed or offer a compensatory holiday of one (1) day for which must be used three (3) weeks before or after the stat holiday. Keep in mind that in either scenario, you must pay the statutory holiday pay as well.
St. John the Baptiste Day is one special holiday in Quebec where employees do not have to work the day before or after the stat holiday in order to qualify for holiday pay. If June 24th falls on a Sunday, Quebec workers are entitled to take off Monday the 25th from work.
What do Employers need to know about Vacation Time and Pay for Quebec Employee’s?
All employee’s regardless of what province are entitled to start accumulating vacation pay or time right from the commencement of their employment. What that entitlement is depends on the province of employment.
Quebec employees accumulate vacation time based on their ‘reference year’ as it’s called in Quebec, Canada. The reference year generally runs from May 1-April 30 each year but can be changed by employers to match employment start dates for instance. Employees in Quebec are entitled to two weeks of vacation time with 4% vacation pay. This two week vacation policy every twelve months lasts during reference years one to five. After five years of uninterrupted employment, Quebec employees are entitled to three weeks’ vacation time and 6% vacation pay.