If you have to work on July 1, you probably won’t get extra holiday pay

Canada Day is one of the six precious (and scarce) public holidays in Nova Scotia, which means a day off work for people. But will you get paid for the day off?

Here’s what you need to know..

All large retail stores, grocery stores and most other businesses—such as offices, malls, small shops, bakeries, dry cleaners, second-hand shops, opticians, bookstores and more must close on July 1, for Canada Day. Canada Day is designated ‘retail closing day.’ 

For many Nova Scotia workers, Canada Day is a general and paid holiday, called a statutory holiday in some provinces.

If you are a union member, working under a collective agreement, you will get paid for the holiday. However, if you work in nearly 70% of businesses and offices in Nova Scotia which are not unionized, here are the rules: 

  • You should get paid for the day if you worked 15 out of the last 30 calendar days.
  • You also must have worked your last scheduled shift just before the holiday, and your first scheduled shift right after the holiday.
  • If you did not work the day before, or after because you had a sick day or a vacation day, you should still get paid for Canada Day.  

If you are employed at a bar, hotel, gas station, restaurant or tourist operation which is open on July 1, and you “qualify” for the holiday pay (see bullets above) and if you must work that day, you are entitled to your normal pay for the day, plus time and one half for every hour you do work on July 1.  But only if you “qualify” for the holiday pay.

Joyful Summer by Beata Jakubek, an Ottawa-based artist.

Of course most bars and restaurants that remain open, make sure to ask an employee to work on July 1, if that employee does NOT qualify for holiday pay. In other words, if the the employee did not work 15 of the last 30 days, or the shift before or after July 1 the employee does not qualify for extra pay.  So the employer has to pay the person for the day’s work, but not give them time and a half for the hours they work on Canada Day.  

Featured image: Cyclist and Crow, by Alex Colville (1981). Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

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