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General Holiday Pay Changes

With the recent changes to Alberta Employment Standards that took effect January 2018 there are still many questions surrounding employers responsibilities. One question that I am getting often is General Holiday Pay (STAT pay). Here's what you need to know:

1. It no longer matters which schedule or shift an employee works, or if they are scheduled to work the general holiday. Previous standards required the employee to be scheduled to work to be entitled for general holiday pay. Now it doesn't matter. What does this mean: ALL eligible active employees (full time and part time) get general holiday pay (as long as they are eligible as per employment standards i.e. not in an exempt position) even if they were not scheduled to work the holiday.

2. General holiday pay is calculated based on daily average wage which is calculated as follows:

Daily Average Rate = 5% of all regular earnings (not OT) + vacation pay (paid out not accrued) + general holiday pay paid in previous 4 weeks

3. Employees are eligible upon commencement of work (used to be after 30 working days)

4. If an eligible employee works on a general holiday, the employer has 2 options:

- pay average daily wage plus 1.5 times employee’s wage rate for all hours worked, or

- pay regular wages (and overtime, if applicable) plus provide a future day off with payment of average daily wage

What does this mean for you as an employer? First thing is to make sure that you are calculating the general holiday pay correctly as per new guidelines. These changes are most likely going to cost more so it's a good plan to understand the financial impact for your company and budget accordingly.

For more details check out the Alberta employment standards website

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