September 17, 2003by Israel Foulon LLP
Question: How is public-holiday pay calculated in Ontario ? Is the number of weeks used to calculate public-holiday pay pro-rated for employees who work less than a full work week? If an employee has just started working and has worked less than four work weeks prior to the public holiday, is this reflected in the calculation of the public holiday pay to which she is entitled? For example, would her wages would be divided by the number of days that she has actually worked?
Answer: In Ontario , an employee is entitled to public holiday equal to the total amount of regular wages and vacation pay payable to the employee in the four work weeks ending before the work week in which the public holiday occurred, divided by 20. The four work weeks is based on the employer’s work week, and is determined by counting backwards from the last day of the employer’s work week prior to the day on which the public holiday falls.
If, for example, an employee’s work week ends on a Friday, the four work weeks will be calculated from the Friday before the public holiday. The regular wages (and vacation pay, if any) of the employee for the four work weeks prior to the holiday is divided by 20 in all circumstances.
Even if an employee only works four days a week instead of five, her regular wages during the four-week period are still divided by 20. Similarly, even if an employee has not worked for the entire four-week period, such as.a new hire, the public holiday pay to which she is entitled is still calculated by dividing by 20.
Peter Israel is the senior partner in the Toronto law firm of Israel Foulon LLP – Employment and Labour Lawyers. He can be reached at 416-640-1550 or firstname.lastname@example.org. A version of this article originally appeared in the Carswell publication, Canadian Employment Law Today