poppies in a fieldRemembrance Day in the Spring? With long weekends on the horizon as summer finally rolls in, we turn our minds to the holiday that only some of us get off – Remembrance Day.

Spring discussion of Remembrance is, in fact, timely. In March 208, a law amending the Holidays Act passed in the House of Commons. The change to the Holidays Act makes Remembrance Day a legal holiday, along with Canada Day and Victoria Day. The addition of Remembrance Day to the Holidays Act does not, however, mean that everyone will now get the day off work. Whether employers are required to give employees the day off is up to the provinces. Remembrance Day is currently a statutory holiday in every province except Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia.

Federal legislators recognize that adding Remembrance Day to the Holidays Act does not practically have much effect, but are hopeful that the change will encourage the outlier provinces to recognize the holiday and give employees the day off.

In Ontario, public holidays have lately been a contentious issue. The Bill 148 change to how public holiday pay was calculated, which generally saw part-time workers getting paid for a full day on a public holiday, is being reversed. For more information on what this is all about see our recent post on public holiday pay change. Whether Ontario can tolerate more changes in the employment landscape remains to be seen and will also depend on who wins our provincial election. Election Day is June 7 in Ontario. Don’t forget to vote! Read these other posts if you’re curious about voting rights and time off work to vote.

As always, if you need help navigating legal issues in your workplace please get in touch.