Natal Day August 1: For most of us it’s not a paid holiday

Updated from the original article published in the NSAdvocate 29 July 2021 here.

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – On Monday August 1 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 be it an office, a warehouse, a garage, or florist is closed you get the day off, but the employer is not obliged to pay you for your day off.

Bathing Factory Workers (1883) by Georges Seurat. To read more about this painting by French artist Seurat, read here

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

Almost every store and business will be open on Natal Day, some at reduced hours.  And if you work on 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 (public holiday), you will have to wait until Labour Day, Monday September 5.

If you want to get a paid holiday on Natal Day next year, please contact me to find out how to organize a union. 

Statutory holidays across Canada:

BC10 paid holidays per year
Number of Paid stat holidays in each province

Featured Image: Red Currant Jelly, by Mary Pratt (1972). Former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson called her “Our greatest female painter since Emily Carr”, read more about this St John’s Newfoundland artist here.

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