Natal Day or the August civic holiday: For most, not a paid day off!

Reprinted from the NSAdvocate 29 July 2021 here.

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – On Monday August 2 Nova Scotia celebrates Natal Day – a day off with pay for the lucky 28% of workers who are represented by a trade union. But it’s likely a normal workday for the rest of us. 

Retail workers, shop assistants, grocery clerks, gas station attendants, are among the many low paid workers who have to work on Natal Day.  If your workplace is closed so you get the day off, the employer is not obliged to pay you.

Natal Day is a civic rather than a statutory holiday. There are only 6 statutory holidays in Nova Scotia throughout the year – we tie with Newfoundland and Labrador for the lowest number of paid days off work. 

Almost every store and business is open on Natal Day, some at reduced hours.  And if you work Monday, you will work for your regular pay; there is usually no premium paid for work on Natal Day (unless you are in a union). 

For the next paid holiday, you will have to wait till Labour Day, Monday September 6. If you want to get a paid holiday on Natal Day next year, please contact me to find out how to organize a union. 

How the rest of the country lives:

BC10 paid holidays per year
AB9
SK10
MB8
ON9
QC8
NB8
PEI8
NFL6
NS6

Featured Image: Joyce Wieland (Canadian 1930-1998): Time Machine Series, 1961. Photo credit: Art Gallery of Ontario.

Judy Haiven is on the steering committee of Equity Watch, a Halifax-based organization which fights bullying, racism and discrimination in the workplace. You can reach her at equitywatchns@gmail.com

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