HR Glossary / Paid Holidays

Paid holidays are specific days on which employees are entitled to take time off from work with pay. The number of paid holidays as well as their date vary depending on local legislation and individual work conditions.


What Holidays Are Paid?

Paid holidays, also called statutory holidays, are determined by law. Thus, they depend on the legislation in place. In Quebec, there are 8 statutory holidays:

  • January 1 (New Year’s Day);
  • Good Friday or Easter Monday, at the employer’s discretion;
  • The Monday before May 25 (National Patriots Day);
  • June 24 (Québec’s National Holiday);
  • July 1 (Canada Day);
  • The first Monday of September (Labour Day);
  • The second Monday of October (Thanksgiving Day);
  • December 25 (Christmas).

In Canada, federal public service employees may benefit from additional statutory holidays:

  • Good Friday and Easter Monday;
  • September 30 (National Day for Truth and Reconciliation);
  • Novembre 11 (Remembrance Day);
  • December 26 (Boxing Day);
  • Provincial or civic holiday in the area where they are employed (instead of June 24

Why Are Paid Holidays Important?

Paid holidays are important to allow employees to relax. Many studies show that well-rested employees perform better than exhausted ones.

Paid holidays are also mandatory by law in Canada. Employees who are required to work on a holiday must be compensated at a rate of at least one-half times their regular wages for the time worked on that day. Some employees can also be given a holiday with pay at another time.

Is There a Difference in Terms of Paid Holidays for Hourly and Salaried Employees?

In Canada, all employees have the same entitlement to paid holidays. The holiday pay is proportional to the number of hours they would normally work that day.

For example, hourly and salaried employees will receive compensation equal to at least one twentieth of the wages earned in the 4 weeks immediately prior to the week of the holiday, excluding overtime pay.

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