British Columbia Statutory Holidays, Paying Your Employees

James Miller
March 21, 2021

What is a statutory holiday in Canada?

A public holiday or sometimes called statutory holidays, stat days, are a variety of nationalistic or religious, cultural holidays that are legislated in Canada at the federal or provincial level.  What does that all mean?  As an employer you need to know what counts as a stat holiday, how they are treated differently in each province in Canada, which days are considered stat holidays and how the pay is calculated.  Read on to find out everything you need to know about statutory holidays in British Columbia.

How many British Columbia statutory holidays are there? 

British Columbia observes ten statutory holidays throughout the year where employees are eligible to be off work with statutory holiday pay or work  and receive premium pay and statutory holiday pay. 

Read on to find out the ins and outs of the statutory holidays, how to calculate employee holiday pay and other rules you might not be aware of. 

If you’re just getting started on payroll, Check out our article about Setting up Canadian Payroll

What are the  statutory holidays in British Columbia?

  • New Year's Day - January 1st
  • Family Day - Third Monday in February
  • Good Friday - Friday preceding Easter Sunday
  • Victoria Day - Last Monday preceding May 25th
  • Canada Day* - July 1st
  • B.C. Day  - First Monday in August
  • Labour Day - First Monday in September
  • Thanksgiving Day - Second Monday in October
  • Remembrance Day - November 11
  • Christmas Day - December 25th


Christmas?! While we’re talking about this wonderful time of year, you may want to bookmark our Tips on Managing Staff during the Holidays

*If Canada Day falls on a Sunday, the following Monday is observed as the statutory holiday.  It gets “bumped” to July 2nd, but this doesn’t happen again until July 2029, so you’ve got time.

Is Family day a stat holiday in BC?

Although Family Day is not a national statutory holiday, it is only observed in New Brunswick, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia on the third Monday of February.  In three other provinces, the third Monday of February is still a statutory holiday, called by a different name.  Manitoba celebrates Louis Riel Day, Nova Scotia Heritage Day in Nova Scotia, and Islander Day in Prince Edward Island.  Therefore the answer is yes, Family day is a Stat Holiday in British Columbia, recognized on the third Monday of February.

How does an employee qualify for statutory holiday pay in British Columbia?

To be eligible for stat holiday pay in British Columbia, employees must be employed for the past 30 calendar days and have worked or earned wages on 15 of the 30 days before the statutory holiday.  It’s common to believe that you must work the day before and the day after the holiday in order to qualify for the pay but that’s not the case in BC.  If the employee doesn’t qualify for statutory pay but works the day they receive regular pay. 

  • For example: Joe works Monday to Friday, and the next stat holiday falls on a Friday. Joe has been employed for 3 years and has worked 19 days of the past 30 days, therefore he is eligible for stat pay.
  • Example: Peter has also been employed for the past three years.  He generally works just Friday, Saturday, Sunday.  In the past 30 days, he has worked 11 days, therefore Peter is not eligible for stat pay.  If Peter works on the stat holiday, he gets paid his regular wage.



What is the Stat Holiday Pay Calculation for employees in British Columbia?

Calculating stat pay for our employees is a necessary and legal part of business but calculating it accurately makes your place a great place to work.  Read our article here about other ways managing human capital helps small business owners retain and elevate great employees.


Public holiday pay would be calculated by referencing the past 30 calendar days before the holiday, including vacation days. 
Total wages ÷ number of days worked = statutory holiday pay (an average day's pay) Include all wages - salary,, vacation, commission, stat holiday pay but not overtime.  This is the amount of holiday pay they would receive for that day.  

 

Here's an example: In the last 30 days, Patricia is paid $14/hour  and works 6 hour days.  She has worked 17 days of the past 30.    Since she has worked at least 15 days and has been employed longer than 30 days she is eligible for stat pay. She is also eligible for premium stat pay should she be scheduled for the day.

  • Regular wages earned in the last 4 weeks = $14 x 6 hours = $84 + $3.36 (vacation pay, paid out per cheque). Regular wages earned in the last 4 weeks = $14 x 6 hours = $84 + $3.36(vacation pay, paid out per cheque) = 87.36 * 17 days = 1485.12
  • $1485.12 / 17 = $87.36 in regular stat pay or 6 hours.
  • Example #2  Evan gets paid $17/hour and his hours the past 4 weeks are this:
    Week #1 = 36 hours (5 days)
    Week #2 = 41 hours (5 days)
    Week #3 = 31 hours (4 days)
    Week # 4 = 19 hours (4 days)
  • He has worked 15 of the past 30 and has been employed for longer than 30 days.  His total wages = (36 +41+31+19 = 116 hours x $17/hour) = 1972 (+ vac pay of 4% added to each pay 78.88) = 2050.88
  • $2050.88/18 days = $113.94 or 6.7 hours.

In total, Peter will be paid $113.94 in regular statutory pay, even if he does not work the holiday.


Do I have to pay all employees for stat holidays in British Columbia?

You gotta follow the rules.  That means each employee that qualifies for stat holiday pay, you must pay them on time and accurately. 
This means that if employees have a regular or scheduled day off that falls on the holiday they still receive stat pay.


Do part time employees get statutory holiday pay in British Columbia?

They sure do!  If they qualify for it by working at least 15 days in the past 30 then part time employees get statutory holiday pay.  


What is the stat premium pay calculation in BC?

In addition to British Columbia stat holiday pay, employees who work on the day of the statutory holiday, are entitled to time and a half for hours worked on a statutory holiday.   Double time for hours over 12 hours worked.

  • Calculation: This is calculated at one and a half times the regular wage x the number of hours they worked.  Regular hourly wage x 1.5 = Premium pay.


Premium Pay example:

Last pay period, Jane is paid $12/hour and works four 8 hour shifts. She also works an 8 hour shift on a stat holiday. She is eligible for both regular and premium stat pay.

To calculate her total stat pay:

  • Regular wages earned in the last 4 weeks = $12 x 32 (8×4) hours = $384 + $15.36 (vacation pay, paid out per cheque)
  • $399.36 / 20 = $19.97 in regular stat pay

PLUS

  • 1.5 x ($12 x 8 hours) = $144 in premium pay
  • In total, Jane will be paid $163.97 in statutory pay

To sum it all up here is an example:

Ruby’s average day's pay is $120. On the statutory holiday, if Ruby: 

  • Does not work, she's paid $120
  • Works 7 hours, she's paid time-and-a-half plus $120
  • Works 14 hours, she's paid time-and-a-half for 12 hours, plus double-time for two hours, plus $120

 

After that long read, your thoughts on calculating statutory holiday could go two ways:

  1. "Wow, I think I get it!" or
  2. "... I need to read that again."

If you haven't, that’s okay, we’re here to help.  Whether you’ve got it or not, automating payroll will save you a load of time.

For further information on automating British Columbia statutory holiday calculations, please contact Push Operations or download our handy ebook guide below!


British Columbia Statutory Holidays

This document is provided by Push Technologies Inc. ("Push Operations") for information purposes only. This is not an official or legal document and should not be taken as legal advice. Push Operations does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, please check with the proper governing authority. 

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