Breaking News: Ontario’s Public Holiday Pay May 30 2018

Ontario Government to Review Public Holiday Rules 

On May 7, 2018 the Ontario government announced that the province will conduct a review of the Public Holiday System under Part X of the Employment Standards Act. The announcement can be found here.  According to the announcement, the government has found that public holiday rules were the source of the most complaints under the ESA and needed to be simplified.

While the government conducts the review, it has reinstated the formula for calculating public holiday pay that existed prior to the changes under Bill 148 through a new regulation, O. Reg. 375/18. This regulation takes effect July 1, 2018 and does not apply retroactively.

What Does This Mean For Employers? 

This means that any public holidays falling between January 1, 2018 and June 30, 2018 are subject to the calculation contained in Bill 148. As such, the upcoming Victoria Day long weekend will still require employers to calculate holiday pay with the Bill 148 calculation. These current rules state:

An employee’s public holiday pay for a given public holiday shall be equal to, the total amount of regular wages earned in the pay period immediately preceding the public holiday, divided by the number of days the employee worked in that period.

For the Canada Day long weekend until December 30, 2019, or until another Regulation is passed, employers are required to calculate public holiday way using the calculation in place prior to Bill 148. As a reminder, this states:

The employee’s public holiday pay for a given public holiday shall be equal to the total amount of regular wages earned and vacation pay payable to the employee in the four work weeks before the work week in which the public holiday occurred, divided by 20.

Anyone who wishes to provide feedback to the Ministry of Labour in this regard is free to contact them at: