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Statutory Holidays

What are the statutory holidays in Alberta?

New Year's Day (January 1st)
Alberta Family Day (3rd Monday in February)
Good Friday (April 2, 2010)
Victoria Day (May 24 2010)
Canada Day (July 1st - if July 1st falls on a Sunday, July 2nd replaces it as the statutory holiday)
Labour Day (1st Monday in September)
Thanksgiving Day (October 11, 2010)
Remembrance Day (November 11th)
Christmas Day (December 25th)

Please note: An employer may designate additional general holidays such as Easter Monday, Alberta Heritage Day and/or Boxing Day for their employees. If an employer designates one of these days as a general holiday, all rules pertaining to general holiday pay will apply. Employees should confirm this and any pay entitlements with their employer.

What are the eligibility requirements to qualify for holiday pay?

Length of service – Employees who have worked for more than 30 days in the 12 months before the holiday are entitled to holiday pay.

Unauthorized absence from employment – No holiday pay is owed when an employee does not work on the holiday when required to do so or when he or she is absent from work without the employer's consent on the regular working day just before or after the holiday.

Employees with irregular schedules – Employees who have an irregular schedule are entitled to holiday pay, if the holiday falls on a day they would normally work.

Are there exceptions to the eligibility requirements?

General holiday provisions do not apply to:

  • automobile, recreational vehicle, truck, bus, manufactured home, farm machinery, heavy-duty construction and road equipment salespersons
  • registered or licensed salespersons selling investments, stocks or bonds
  • authorized salespersons of real estate and salesperson who sell homes for the builder of those homes
  • licensed insurance salespersons who are compensated entirely by way of commission income
  • salespersons, other than route salespersons, who solicit orders principally outside the employer’s place of business and are paid in whole or in part by commission
  • farm workers
  • extras in film or video production
  • a counsellor or instructor at an educational or recreational camp that is operated on a charitable or not-for-profit basis for: children, handicapped individuals, or religious purposes
  • salespersons who have attained the age of 16 years and are engaged in direct selling for licensed direct sellers

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

An employee who works on a holiday that is normally scheduled as a work day is entitled to receive either:

(a) his or her average daily wage plus 1½ times his regular rate for each hour worked or
(b) his or her wage rate times each hour worked plus another day off with pay where the employee is paid his/her average daily wage.  The additional day off must be provided on a regular working day.

Employees paid by commission – If the employee is paid entirely by commission or incentive based pay, the wage rate is deemed to be the minimum wage. If the employee is paid partly by commission or incentive-based pay, then the wage rate is deemed to be the greater of the salary component or the minimum wage.

If an employee works on a statutory holiday that he/she isn't normally scheduled to work, the employee must be paid 1½ time his regular rate for each hour worked.

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

An employee is entitled to at least his or her average daily wage if the holiday falls on a regular working day.  For employees working irregular schedules, the employer must review the employees schedule for the past nine weeks prior to the holiday.  If the employee worked on the day of the week the holiday falls in 5 of the past 9 weeks, the employee is eligible for holiday pay.

The average daily wage is based on the days worked in the nine weeks – or, if less, the employee's period of employment – immediately preceding the general holiday.

If the statutory holiday falls on a day when the employee isn't scheduled to work, the employee is not entitled to any holiday pay or additional time off.

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

If a general holiday to which an employee would have been entitled occurs during his or her annual vacation, the employee must be given a holiday with pay on what would have been the first day back to work or on another day, with the agreement of the employer. A deferred holiday must be provided before the employee's next annual vacation.

If a holiday falls on a non-working day other than a vacation day no compensatory holiday is required to be provided.

How much am I paid if I am not eligible for holidays?

If you are ineligible for holiday pay, you are paid at your normal wage or hourly rate for any holidays worked.  If you do not work on a holiday, you are not entitled to receive any pay or additional time off for the holiday.

What if I'm a construction worker a brush clearing employee?

Construction workers and brush clearing employees are entitled to 3.6% of their regular wages for holiday pay from the start of employment. General holiday pay must be paid by December 31 or as fequently as every pay cheque.

If an employee works on a general holiday, they are entitled to regular pay.

For more information, please see the Alberta General Holidays and Holiday Pay Factsheet.

How do I make a complaint about my work situation?

Learn more about making a complaint in your jurisdiction

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