A Guide to Statutory Holiday Pay in Ontario

What is Statutory Holiday Pay?

If you live in Ontario, you might already be familiar with the public holidays – from New Year’s Day to Boxing Day, and everything in between.

Other than being days of celebration, they’re also meant to be days where you can take time off work and, if you qualify, still get paid public holiday pay.

If you’ve ever visited a Tim Hortons or Starbucks on Thanksgiving, you know that not everything is closed on public holidays.

In lieu of foregoing a day off on a public holiday, employees can come to an agreement with their employer to make up for it.

This agreement must be done in writing or electronically, and the options are usually one of the following two:

  • Premium pay: the employee chooses to work on the holiday and gets public holiday pay plus a premium.
  • A “substitute” holiday: The employee works on the holiday and gets another working day off that is designated to replace this holiday.

How to Calculate Stat Holiday Pay

The calculation of statutory holiday pay confuses many, so we’ve made it as simple as possible for you.

Basically, you start off by counting all the regular payments that you earned in the two work weeks prior to the public holiday.

Then, you divide this number by the number of working days in the two-week period (10).

This will amount to what you should receive as holiday pay.

If you want to find out how much your statutory holiday pay will be, you can also use this handy calculator.

Toronto from centre island with ferry coming in

Did You Know?

Certain industries have different rules when it comes to statutory holiday pay, and employees in these industries can be required to work on public holidays without an agreement. Hotels, restaurants, tourist resorts, hospitals and nursing homes all fall into this category. You can learn more about these special cases here.

Statutory Holiday Pay Eligibility in Ontario

In most cases, employees in Ontario should qualify for statutory holiday pay.

It doesn’t matter whether they are full-time employees, part-time, seasonal, contract or permanent.

However, in cases like the following, they may not qualify for statutory holiday pay:

  • The employee didn’t end up working on their last scheduled workday before the public holiday and first scheduled workday after the public holiday without giving a valid justification for it
  • The employee didn’t end up working on the public holiday when it was already agreed that they would, without giving a valid justification for it

A valid justification, in this case, would simply mean that the employee would have to prove that there was a factor out of their control that prevented them from being able to work that day.

Ontario Statutory Holidays

In Ontario, there are currently 9 public holidays.

In order, they are:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Family Day
  • Good Friday
  • Victoria Day
  • Canada Day
  • Labour Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day

You can always find an updated list of Ontario Statutory holidays on the Ontario provincial site.

Keep in mind that Remembrance Day (November 11), while considered a federal statutory holiday, is not considered one in Ontario – although many employers may still give the day off to their employees.

Easter Monday and the new National Day for Truth and Reconciliation are for federally regulated workplaces only.

Civic Holiday, which falls on the first Monday of August, is an optional holiday in Ontario, but most employers give it nonetheless.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do part-time employees get stat pay in Ontario?
  • Is stat pay mandatory in Ontario?

Tara Al-Khudairi is a freelance personal finance writer who has worked in the financial services industry since 2017. She graduated from McMaster University with a degree in Finance and is pursuing her CFA.

She has worked at a major Canadian financial institution in various client-facing advisory roles, starting as a bank teller and working up to a Client Services Associate within the Asset Management division. She specializes in simplifying concepts of personal finance for people of various financial backgrounds.

When she’s not examining the markets looking for the next SHOP.TO, she’s either practicing yoga, planning her next vacation, or has her nose buried deep in a book.