Holidays in Canada
Statutory holidays are what public holidays are called in Canada. These holidays are legislated at the national, provincial and territorial levels. Many of these holidays are observed nationwide, but each territory and province has its own holidays as well.
Christmas and Good Friday are major Christian holidays that are observed officially, other religious holidays are widely accepted as well. There are some employees and school children who take days off for Muslim holidays, Jewish holidays, or Eastern Orthodox holidays according to the Julian calendar. Valentine’s Day, Saint Patrick’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day are traditionally observed by Canadians but do not take days off from work. National Aboriginal Day on June 21, and followed by St-Jean Baptiste Day on June 24, Canadian Multiculturalism Day on June 27, and concluding with Canada Day on July 1 are a collection of important cultural days.
A statutory holiday is also known as “stats” or “general” or “public” holiday in Canada. It is legislated either through the territorial, or provincial or federal government. Most public and private employees are entitled to take the day off with regular pay. Some employers may require their employees to work on a holiday. When this happens the employee must either receive a day off in lieu of the holiday or must be paid at a rate — usually 1½ (known as “time and a half”) or twice (known as “double time”) the regular pay for their time worked that day, in addition to the holiday pay. When a statutory holiday falls on a normal day off or weekend, the following work day for most provinces is considered a statutory holiday.