Know the facts about Christmas and New Year’s statutory holidays

Here are a few things employers and employees should know:

With holidays here and many employers increasing staff hours and hiring temporary employees to meet the holiday rush, it’s important to know the details of who is entitled to statutory holiday pay or extra pay under B.C.’s Employment Standards Act.

Here are a few things employers and employees should know:

* Christmas Day and New Year’s Day are statutory holidays in British Columbia.

* Boxing Day is NOT a statutory holiday in B.C.

* To be eligible for statutory holiday pay, an employee must have been employed for 30 calendar days, and have worked or had earnings on 15 of the 30 days before the statutory holiday.

* Employees who work under an averaging agreement (which permits hours of work to be averaged over a period of up to four weeks) during the 30 days before a statutory holiday do not have to meet the 15-day minimum.

* Eligible employees required to work on a statutory holiday must be paid at least time-and-a-half for the first 12 hours worked and double-time for any hours worked after that.

* Eligible employees who don’t work on a holiday must be paid at least an average day’s pay, calculated by dividing total wages in the 30 calendar days before the statutory holiday by the number of days worked. Total wages include wages, commissions, statutory holiday pay and vacation pay but do not include overtime pay.

* Some groups such as managers, agriculture workers, some commission salespersons, and high-technology professionals are excluded from the statutory holiday provisions of the Act.

* An employee who is not eligible for the statutory holiday and who works on the holiday can be paid as if it was a regular work day, but is not entitled to an average day’s pay if the statutory holiday falls on a day off.