Ontario Statutory Holidays, and What to Pay Your Employees

James Miller
March 10, 2021

Although the year is 2021, it should be noted that Ontario's general holiday rules were amended as of January 1st 2018, and though employee eligibility has remained the same, the method of Ontario's statutory holiday calculations may have been changed since you last checked!

Below, you'll find everything you need to know about Ontario's general holiday current rules.

How many statutory holidays are in Ontario? 

Ontario observes nine statutory holidays throughout the year where employees are eligible to be off work with statutory holiday pay or work with statutory holiday pay or time off in lieu.  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. 

What are the statutory holidays in Ontario?

  • 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 1s
  • Labour Day - First Monday in September
  • Thanksgiving Day - Second Monday in October
  • Christmas Day - December 25th
  • Boxing Day - December 26

In addition to these nine holidays, employers should be aware of Remembrance Day (November 11th) and Civic Holiday (First Monday in August).  These dates are not statutory holidays in Ontario but some employers voluntarily give the day off.  Most provincially regulated businesses still operate on these days and are not required to pay holiday or stat pay.  Also, Ontario is the only province in Canada that recognizes Boxing Day, December 26th, as a statutory holiday which can cause some confusion for businesses that operate across provinces. 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 Ontario?

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 Ontario, recognized on the third Monday of February.

How does an employee qualify for statutory holiday pay in Ontario?

To be eligible for stat holiday pay in Ontario, employees simply have to follow the "first and last" rule - there are no restrictions on how long an employee has worked an employer.  In order to qualify for Public Holiday pay, employees must work their last regularly scheduled shift before the holiday as well as their first regularly scheduled shift after the holiday, unless they have permissions to miss their shift due to reasonable cause or have their employer's consent. Failure to work the entire shift without reasonable cause may result in disqualification of entitlement to Holiday pay.

  • For example: Joe works Monday to Friday, and the next stat holiday falls on a Friday. Joe is scheduled to work on the Thursday before the holiday, and the Monday after the holiday. He must work these entire shifts  to be eligible for stat pay.But Joe has requested Monday off to extend his weekend. His manager approves his request, therefore Joe is still eligible for stat average pay.

However, if Joe's request is not accepted, and he does not show up, he will only be paid premium pay for the hours he has worked on the stat holiday.

What is the statutory holiday pay calculation for employees in Ontario?

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.

Most employees are entitled to Public Holiday pay.   Public holiday pay would be calculated by adding up the number of hours your employee has worked in the 4 work weeks prior to the holiday(including vacation pay but not overtime) from the last and divide that by 20.  This is the amount of holiday pay they would receive for that day.  

The four weeks before the public holiday is based on the employer’s work week. For example, instead of a Monday to Sunday work week, it could be a Sunday to Saturday work week.Here's an example:In the last 4 weeks, Peter is paid $14/hour and worked 30 hours. As he also worked his last scheduled shift before the holiday and will be working the first shift after. He is eligible for both regular stat pay and premium stat pay should he be scheduled for the day.

  • Regular wages earned in the last 4 weeks = $14 x 30 hours = $420 + $16.80(vacation pay, paid out per cheque)Regular wages earned in the last 4 weeks = $14 x 30 hours = $420 + $16.80(vacation pay, paid out per cheque)
  • $436.80 / 20 = $21.84 in regular stat pay

In total, Peter will be paid $21.84 in regular statutory pay, even if he does not work the holiday.

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

You gotta follow the rules.  That means each employee that qualifies for stat holiday pay, you must pay them on time and accurately.

Do part time employees get statutory holiday pay in Ontario?

They sure do!  All full time and part time hourly employees are eligible to receive stat pay.  

What is the stat premium pay calculation?

In addition to Ontario stat holiday pay, employees who work on the day of the statutory holiday, are also entitled to either:

  • Premium pay. 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.


  • Their regular rate for the hours worked on the public holiday, plus a substitute day off work with public holiday pay;

You, as the employer chooses which of these options will apply.

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.  As she also worked her last scheduled shift before the holiday, and will be working the first shift after, 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


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

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 stat holiday calculations, please contact Push Operations or download our handy ebook guide below!

 Ontario 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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