No holiday on Victoria Day unless you’re in a union

In NS — Victoria Day is not a paid holiday

first published in in 2021. Updated to May, 2023.

The good news is that the annual May Two-Four weekend, a.k.a. the Victoria Day weekend,  is coming up.  And good weather has been ordered. The bad news is, unless you are covered by a collective agreement at your workplace, you will probably NOT get MONDAY off with pay. More bad news — if you do work that day, you earn only straight time: there is no special pay for working this Monday.

Queen Victoria, on the 2-4 weekend (credit:

Another punitive holiday courtesy of the NS Government

This is because Victoria Day, which is celebrated on Monday, May 22 this year, is not one of the six paid holidays in Nova Scotia.  

Garden centres, restaurants, grocery stores, hardware stores and so forth will be open on Victoria Day. That is because Victoria Day is not one of the nine days that the provincial government declares a retail closing day, as per the Retail Business Designated Day Closing Act. Retail closing days are ones in which stores and services must be closed, yet the employees are not necessarily paid for the day off.

If you do get this Monday, Victoria Day off, with pay, thank your union. Better still get actively involved in your union. If you don’t get the day off as a paid holiday, consider joining a union. That way the union can negotiate for you and your co-workers to get the Monday of the May Two-Four weekend as a paid holiday.

Featured image: Lupins along a road in PEI (Credit: Bernadeta Milewski)

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