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New BC Statutory Holiday National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

February 9, 2023

Employment Standards

New BC Statutory Holiday National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

On February 7, 2023, Bill 2, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Act, was introduced in the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. Bill 2 proposes that the BC government recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, September 30, as a public holiday in the province and amend the BC Employment Standards Act to establish a provincial statutory holiday. Read more about the history and meaning of this Day here.

Bill 2 received assent on March 9, 2023 passing into law - the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation now becomes a provincial statutory holiday in BC, and eligible workers will be able to observe September 30 with a paid day off or receive payment at premium rates if required to work.

Payroll and Scheduling Considerations for Stat Holidays

Once the Bill is passed, eligible employees will be entitled to a paid day off on September 30

  1. This applies to employees after they have been employed for 30 calendar days, and those who have earned wages on 15 of the 30 days before the statutory holiday
  2. They are paid an "average day's wages" - take the amount earned in the past 30 days an divide it by the number of days worked.

If an employee works on the stat holiday, then the employee is entitled to the above statutory holiday pay PLUS 1.5 times the employee’s regular wage for time worked up to 12 hours, and double the employee’s regular wage for any time worked over 12 hours. See "Calculating Stat Pay" .

Statutory Pay and Day Off in Lieu

By default, when a statutory holiday falls on a workday during the week, employees get the day off with pay, and all eligible employees are entitled to stat pay even if they weren't scheduled to work or if that was their day off.  If the statutory holiday falls during the weekend, like September 30th this year (Saturday), the default under the Employment Standards Act would be for the employer to pay everyone for that day (Saturday).

However, it is common practice is for employers to substitute another day for a statutory holiday day off (i.e. giving everyone Monday off paid in lieu). If this is done, the employer must have the agreement of that particular employee, or the majority of the group of employees it is substituting the holiday day for.

In practice it is not usually an issue, but technically there is a requirement for the employer to retain records of the agreement to substitute for 4 years:

        Substituting another day for a statutory holiday
        48   (1)An employer may for one or more employees at a workplace substitute another day off for a statutory holiday if the employer and the employee or a majority of those employees, as the case may be, agree to the substitution.
               (2)Any employees affected by the substitution of another day for a statutory holiday have the same rights under this Act and their employer has the same duties under this Act as if the other day were a statutory holiday.
               (3)An employer must retain for 4 years records of agreements made under subsection (1).

For full details on stat holidays and Employment Standards, visit the provincial government site here.

Note to Readers: The information in this article is not legal advice. If you are looking for legal advice in relation to a particular matter please contact Chris Drinovz. Our experienced Employment & Disability Group is ready to assist you. Get in touch today.




Chris Drinovz is a Partner at KSW Lawyers and the founder and leader of the Employment & Labour Group. His calling is to excellence through the mastery of his craft and tireless dedication to his clients. He is described as hard-working, analytical, trustworthy, and genuine. Chris works with business leaders and union and non-union organizations to solve workplace legal problems and achieve long-term solutions that align with his client’s values. He is a dedicated advisor and an experienced courtroom advocate with a track record of success.



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