• All About Ontario’s Changes to Public Holiday Pay in 2018

Have you heard about Bill 148 that states the changes in Ontario’s wages, effective from January 1st, 2018? It states an increase in Ontario’s minimum wage, vacation entitlement and days of paid sick leave (two days). The greater changes are in the Statutory Holiday Pay calculation mentioned below:

Ontario’s New Changes to Holiday Pay

  • Prior to the bill, a full-time employee was entitled to get a full day’s pay for a statutory holiday. A part-time employee working half days would get half day’s pay. A person working only a day a week would receive ⅕ of a day’s pay. The calculations were based on the past four weeks prior to the holiday, divided by 20 days.
  • Under the new pay procedure, public holiday pay is calculated after dividing regular pay received before the public holiday by the number of days the individual worked in the paid period.
  • This means that under the new holiday policy a full-time worker will continue to get a full day of pay for the public holiday while a half-day worker continues to get the amount for half-day work. But the person working only one day a week over the last two weeks prior to the holiday would still get a full day’s pay for the public holiday.
  • This means there is no difference in holiday pay between full-time employees and part-time employees under Bill 148. This also means that companies have to pay full-time and part-time employees the same holiday pay, thereby increasing salary costs.
  • Employees who don’t qualify for the public holiday still get premium pay for every hour they work on the day, whether they are full-time, part-time, permanent or contractors.
  • There are nine public holidays in Ontario each year. The new Bill makes it imperative for companies to pay for seven full days for someone who works one day a week. It also makes it “economically feasible” for companies to hire on a casual basis and aims to provide financial relief to part-time and multiple job employees who usually do not have any benefits.
  • The new policy will be in place till December 31, 2019.

How Companies Can Manage Holiday Pay Under Bill 148

  • In Ontario, the average hours of work per week are 44 hours whereas in Canada it is 36.6 hours. Consider full-time employees if and when economically feasible.
  • Pay more attention to the schedules of part-timers prior to the public holiday to avoid paying for the full day. To manage workflow in such situations, increase shifts for full-time employees.
  • Pay close attention to the shifts of full-day employees too. The Employment Standard Act states that holiday pay needs to be paid unless the individual fails to turn up without reasonable cause on their last day prior to the holiday or if they fail to work through their entire shift on the public holiday, if they were agreed to work that day.

Career1 – Jobs at Every Skill Level

What does this mean for employers? From now till December 31, 2019, you need to cater to the new changes. You will need to advise your HR and payroll teams to make sure the hiring process is conducted keeping these changes in mind. If you consider structural changes in your organization to incorporate new full-time employers, consult us for help.

At Career1, we supply quality full-time and part-time staff at various skill levels for a wide range of industries. We serve from two locations in the GTA with a highly qualified, experienced workforce who are dedicated to connecting clients with the right employees.


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