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The Re-Open Saskatchewan plan was released on April 23rd.

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Paying Employees for Public Holidays

Employees get paid for 10 public holidays per year in Saskatchewan: New Year's Day, Family Day, Good Friday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Saskatchewan Day, Labour Day, Thanksgiving Day, Remembrance Day and Christmas Day, no matter how they are paid or what hours they work.

Easter Monday, Christmas Eve and Boxing Day are not public holidays.

The Director of Employment Standards may approve a permit to authorize that a public holiday be observed on a specified working day other than the date of the public holiday.

There are three types of payment:

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1. Premium Pay for Working in a Public Holiday

Employees working on a public holiday earn premium pay of 1.5 times their regular hourly rate for all hours worked. This includes managerial and professional employees and operators of group homes. The premium pay rate of 1.5 is in addition to the normal day's pay calculated below in Public Holiday Pay.

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2. Public Holiday Pay

Most employees receive five per cent of their wages in the 28 days (four weeks) before a public holiday as public holiday pay, no matter what their days of work.

The calculation includes all wages earned in the 28 days (four weeks) and vacation pay that has been paid in the four weeks before the public holiday for holidays taken. The calculation does not include overtime.

A new employee is entitled to public holiday pay even if he or she has been employed for less than four weeks before the public holiday. The amount of public holiday pay would be five per cent of the regular wages earned by the new employee before the public holiday.

Example:

An employee earns regular wages of $600.00/week, plus commission. In the four weeks before a public holiday, the employee takes one week of vacation for which the employee receives $600.00. The employee also earns $1,000 in commission. The calculation would be:

Regular wages $600.00 x three weeks $1,800.00
Add one week vacation pay $600.00
Add commission $1000.00
Total $3,400.00
x 5% $170.00

Salaried Employees Who Receive a Day off With Pay

If the employee receives the day off with pay, then this amount would be taken off the $170.00 calculated above. Assuming a five day week, the employee would earn a base wage of $600.00 ÷ 5 days = $120.00. Taking off the $120.00 would leave a balance of $50.00 to be paid ($170.00 - $120.00 = $50.00).

In some cases, employees on a fixed salary that have the day off with pay will have received proper payment for the public holiday. When the public holiday falls on an employee's day off, some employers may give the employee the option of receiving five per cent of their pay or taking an additional day off with pay.

New Hires

A new employee is entitled to public holiday pay even if employed for less than 28 days before the public holiday. In this case, public holiday pay would be five per cent of the regular wages earned by the new employee before the holiday.

Hourly-Paid Construction Employees

Public holiday pay for hourly-paid construction employees is four per cent of wages (excluding overtime and vacation pay) earned in the calendar year. Public holiday pay must be paid on or before December 31 in the year in which it was earned, or within 14 days of termination.

Public holiday pay can also be paid on each paycheque during the year.

Employees Who Quit, are Laid Off or Terminated Before a Public Holiday

An individual must be employed by the employer on the day of the public holiday to get public holiday pay. For example, someone who was laid off or quit before a holiday would not get public holiday pay for that holiday.

Visit the Public Holiday Pay Calculator to calculate the amount of Public Holday Pay owed to an employee. 

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3. Overtime for the Week of a Public Holiday

During a week with a public holiday, employees receive overtime after working 32 hours. The 32 hours does not include any hours worked on the public holiday.

Daily overtime depends on the employees' schedule. Employees scheduled to work eight hours per day receive overtime after eight hours. Employees scheduled to work 10 hours per day receive overtime after 10 hours.

Workplaces With an MWA or Averaging of Hours Permit

Where a workplace has a Modified Work Arrangement or an Averaging of Hours Permit, each public holiday in the averaging period will reduce the number of hours before overtime is to be paid by eight hours. For example, if a public holiday falls within an averaging period of 160 hours over four weeks, overtime becomes payable after 152 hours.

Overtime is also payable after employees work more hours than the daily limit stated in the MWA or averaging permit.

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