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Nova Scotia

Statutory Holidays

What are the statutory holidays in Nova Scotia?

The statutory holidays in Nova Scotia are New Year's Day, Good Friday, Canada Day, Labour Day, and Christmas Day. (Remembrance Day is a special case in Nova Scotia.)

What are the eligibility requirements to qualify for holiday pay?

Employees are entitled to holiday pay if they (a) have received or are entitled to receive wages for at least 15 of the 30 days immediately preceding the holiday; and (b) have worked on their scheduled working day just before or after the holiday, unless directed not to report to work on these days by their employer.

Additional requirement for employees in continuous operations – Employees in continuous operations are not entitled to holiday pay if they did not report for work on the holiday after having been called upon to do so.

Are there exceptions to the eligibility requirements?

The Code does not apply to persons employed in a private home by the householder to provide domestic service for less than 24 hours per week or for a member of the employee’s immediate family; to practitioners and students of designated professions; and to participants in certain job creation programs. Furthermore, a number of agricultural workers, certain salespersons, persons working on fishing vessels, employees subject to a collective agreement, and persons working in the manufacturing or refining processes of the petrochemical industry are exempted from the Code’s general holiday provisions.

How much should I get paid if I work on a statutory holiday?

Employees who qualify for a holiday with pay are entitled to receive their regular pay, plus 1½ times their regular rate for the time worked.

Special conditions – continuous operations – Employees working in continuous operations are entitled to (a) their regular pay plus 1½ times their regular rate for the time worked; or (b) a holiday with pay on the first working day after their annual vacation or another day agreed upon by the employee and employer.

Work on Remembrance Day – Employees who have earned wages for 15 of the 30 days immediately preceding Remembrance Day, and who are required to work on that day, are entitled to a holiday with pay on the first working day after their annual vacation or another day agreed upon by the employee and employer.

How much should I get paid if I don’t work on a statutory holiday?

Employees who qualify for holiday pay are entitled to the following:

(a) Employees whose wages are calculated on a weekly or monthly basis – regular wages without reduction for the period in which a holiday occurs.

(b) Employees whose wages are calculated on a daily or hourly basis – at least regular rate of wages for normal hours of work.

(c) Employees whose wages are calculated on another basis – regular rate of wages for a normal working day.

What if a statutory holiday falls on a non-working day?

If a holiday falls on a non-working day, employers must grant their employees a day off with pay (a) on the first working day after the holiday; (b) on the day immediately following the annual vacation; or (c) on another time mutually agreed upon.

Can a statutory holiday be substituted for a day-off on another day of the year?

An employer may substitute a holiday for another day where:

(a) a class of employees are represented by a trade union and the parties to a collective agreement notify the Director of Labour Standards in writing that a specified day has been designated in the collective agreement as a holiday in lieu of a general holiday under the Code; or

(b) employees are not represented by a union, or a collective agreement does not provide for general holidays, and the employer applies to the Director of Labour Standards to substitute another day for a holiday designated under the Code. The Director of Labour Standards must be satisfied that a majority of the affected employees agree before approving the substitution.

Which legislation establishes statutory holidays in my jurisdiction?

The Labour Standards Code and Regulations; and the Remembrance Day Act (RDA).

How do I make a complaint about my work situation?

Learn more about making a complaint in your jurisdiction

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