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Statutory holidays for Christmas and New Year...

Listed below, you will find information about Christmas and New Year holidays for building service employees. You can also read article 7 of the Decree as well as the Employer's Guide and the Employee's Guide. They provide complementary information and examples regarding statutory holidays.

The first thing to consider in order to establish how many holidays the employee is entitled to is whether the employee is a regular employee or not.

The regular employee, often called permanent employee, is the one who has accumulated 280 hours of work for the same employer. Permanent employees are entitled to more holidays than those who have not yet reached 280 hours.

Legal holidays for regular (permanent) employees

In regards to holidays, here are the factors that the employer must take into account:

  1. the number of holidays an employee is entitled to
  2. the holiday pay
  3. the worked holiday

1. Number of holidays

Regular employees with less than one year of service for the employer are entitled to four (4) paid holidays:

  • two paid holidays at Christmas (December 25 and either the day before or after, at the employer's convenience)
    AND
  • two paid holidays for New Year (January 1 and either the day before or after).

Regular employees with one year of service and more are entitled to six (6) paid holidays:

  • three paid holidays for Christmas (December 24, 25 and 26)
    AND
  • three paid holidays for New Year (December 31, January 1 and 2).

Important: Unionized employees may have some holidays replaced by mobiles holidays. Look over your collective agreement to ensure that you have the right information.

2. The holiday pay

In order to calculate the holiday pay for each employee, the employer must determine for each employee whether he or she works at least 5 days a week or not. Then he must pay the indemnity accordingly.

First situation: the employee works less than 5 days a week

In this situation, the employee must receive an indemnity for each holiday that he is entitled to. The amount of the indemnity is equal to 10% of the earnings of the preceding pay for a bi-weekly pay period or 20% if the pay period is weekly.

In the case where the number of working days changes from week to week, the employer must verify in the 8 preceding weeks: if the employee worked 5 days or more during 5 of those weeks, please follow the second situation below. Otherwise, we will consider that he works less than 5 days a week.

Second situation: the employee works 5 days a week or more

In this situation, the basic rule is that the holiday pay for a normal working day must correspond to the amount of hours normally worked on that day.

For example, if an employee usually works 5 hours on Mondays, then, he should be entitled to a 5-hour holiday pay for Monday, December 24th. If the employee does not always work the same amount of hours on Mondays, then the employer should calculate the average number of hours of the last five Mondays.

When the holiday does not correspond with a normal working day, for an employee who works 5 days a week or more (Ex: the employee never works on Mondays while he is entitled to the December 24th holiday), the employer may allow the holiday on the preceding or following working day. In this case, the rule is the same. However, if the employer leaves the holiday on a non-working day, the holiday pay corresponding to a day which is not normally worked is 10% of the earnings of the preceding pay for a bi-weekly pay period or 20% if the pay period is weekly.

Important: Article 3.02 of the Decree states that the hours paid for a holiday, when this holiday is not worked, are to be added to the total hours of the week and are considered as worked hours for the purpose of calculating overtime hours.

3. Worked holidays for the regular employee

If the regular employee is required to work on a holiday, regardless of whether it is a usual working day or not, the employer may:

  • Pay the hours worked during the holiday at time and a half (minimum 3 hours), and pay the holiday as explained above, according to the situation;
    Or
  • Pay the hours worked during the holiday at regular wage and carry over the holiday within three weeks preceding or following the actual holiday.

In such case, an agreement is required between employee and employer. Look over section "Practical tools", or click on the following link to find an example of a letter of agreement to carry forward a statutory holiday.

Attention: When the employer wants to carry over a holiday within the 3 preceding or following weeks, he must carry over this holiday on another normal working day for this employee.

The non-regular employee

Article 7.07.1 of the Decree provides that the employee who has less than 280 hours of work is entitled to one paid holiday for Christmas (25 December) and one for New Year (1 January).

For each of these holidays, the employer must pay the employee who is not a regular employee an indemnity equal to 1/20 of the wages earned during the 4 complete weeks of pay preceding the week of the holiday. The employee is entitled to these holidays even if they do not fall on a regular working day.

If the non-regular employee needs to work on a holiday, the employer must pay the hours worked at regular wage as well as the indemnity as explained above. The employer may also grant him a compensatory holiday of one day within 3 weeks before or after the holiday.

For any information, please feel free to call an inspector who will be available to answer your questions up to Friday December 21, until noon, or, in 2019, on Monday January 7th.

 

The whole personal of the Parity Committee wishes all building service employers and employees a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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