The long weekend is fast approaching, and general holidays should be a time to enjoy! In preparation for this Friday, here are some FAQs around stats in Alberta for both employers and employees.
Frequently Asked Questions regarding Statutory Holidays in Alberta
Q: What holidays are employers obligated to provide time off with pay?
A: There are 9 statutory holidays, including:
· New Year’s Day
· Family Day
· Good Friday
· Victoria Day
· Canada Day
· Labor Day
· Thanksgiving Day
· Remembrance Day
· Christmas Day
There are 3 optional holidays that an employer may provide for their employees. On these days, employers are not obligated to provide time off or holiday pay. However, some organization’s do provide it, and consider it an additional benefit to working for their business:
· Easter Monday
· Heritage Day
· Boxing Day
When organizations declare additional days as general holidays, these days are treated the same as the required statutory holidays in regards to pay, time off, and overtime.
Q: I have just started a new job, but a general holiday is coming up, will I get holiday pay?
A: An employee has the right to holiday pay if they have worked a minimum of 30 days within the last 12 months and the general holiday is: either on a regular day of work or they are working the general holiday when it is not a regular day of work.
Q: If a Stat is in the middle of the week, can it be moved to a Friday instead?
A: Yes, a different day can be substituted for a statutory holiday. However, the employer must have an agreement with the affected employees, that they will receive a different day off instead of the statutory holiday.
Q: A general holiday is on a Saturday (which I do not normally work), do I still get a day off?
A: Some holidays get moved by the government, for example Canada Day is on July 1 every year except when it falls on a Sunday, then it’s on July 2. Some are fixed regardless of the weekday it falls on, such as Remembrance Day. If a general holiday falls on a non-regular day of work you are not entitled for general holiday pay. If an employee works an irregular schedule the 5 of 9 rule applies which is if the employee work the last 5 times on the same weekday in the last 9 weeks they would be eligible for general holiday pay. For example if the stat falls on a Saturday and the employee worked at least 5 Saturdays in the last nine weeks, they would be entitled to general holiday pay.
Q: Who is eligible for Stat Pay?
A: Once individuals begin their employment, they are eligible for stat pay as long as they meet the eligibility criteria. This includes all types of employees (casual, full time, part time) regardless of how they are paid (hourly, salary, commission). Note there are specific occupations that are exempt such as an automotive salesperson. The full list is available at the link below.
Q: How is Holiday Pay calculated?
A: If the general holiday falls on a regular working day, and the employee does not work, they will be paid their AVERAGE daily wage (this is often why the pay is different for new employees, or employees who have taken time off before the stat). If the employee works because it is a regular day of work in their shift, they will be paid their hours worked x their hourly wage x 1.5 + average daily wage. If the employee works but it is not a regularly scheduled day of work for them, they will get paid their hours worked x their hourly wage x 1.5.
Note these are general guidelines, there are industry specific differences as well for construction employees and farm and ranch employees. For more details on Alberta’s employment standards regarding general holidays, click here.
Government of Alberta. (2022). Alberta general holidays. Employment Standard Rules. https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-general-holidays.aspx