On January 1, 2018, a number of amendments to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) came into effect under Bill 148. These amendments required substantial updates to employer practices, policies, and handbooks.

One of the amendments was to the public holiday pay formula in Part X of the ESA. However, the new rules and formula have been the source of most of the complaints under the ESA and need to be simplified. Accordingly, a review will take place in 2018.

However, until the rules and formula for public holiday pay can be fully reviewed, Ontario Regulation 375/18 was filed on May 7, 2018, which reverts, on an interim basis, to the pre-Bill 148 public holiday formula for all employees, effective July 1, 2018 until December 31, 2019.

What this Means for Employers and Employees

  • Employers are to continue to use the current formula under the ESA for calculating public holiday pay, including for the upcoming Victoria Day Holiday on May 21, 2018.
  • Effective July 1, 2018, employers should revert back to the pre-Bill 148 formula, as follows:

The employee’s public holiday pay for a given public holiday shall be equal to the total amount of regular wages earned and vacation pay payable to the employee in the four work weeks before the work week in which the public holiday occurred, divided by 20.

  • Employers should ensure that all necessary changes to their payroll system are made in advance of the July 1, 2018 holiday.
  • Employers should review and have their policies updated, if necessary.
  • Employers should check for updates to the public holiday rules and formula in the coming months.