It's important to be aware which holidays apply to your employees. Different holidays are recognized across Atlantic Canada.

Most holidays apply to all four Atlantic Provinces. Those include: New Year's Day, Good Friday, Canada Day, Labour Day, Remembrance Day and Christmas Day, although in Nova Scotia there are industry exemptions that may apply to Remembrance Day.

Prince Edward Island also has a statutory holiday for Islander Day on the third Monday in February, while New Brunswick recognizes New Brunswick Day on the first Monday in August.

After you have established which statutory holidays apply, the next question is: who's entitled to be paid for those holidays and what are they paid? The answer is different in each province:

New Brunswick

Must be employed for 90 days in the 12 months preceding the holiday and work scheduled day immediately before and after the holiday; if employee works on the holiday, s/he's to be paid regular wage plus one and one-half times regular wage for hours worked, or pay the employee one and one-half times his/her regular wage for all hours worked plus an alternative day off as agreed between employer and employee.

Prince Edward Island

Must have earned pay 15 of 30 days prior to the holiday and work scheduled shift before and after the holiday; if employee works on the holiday s/he's to be paid regular wage plus one and one-half regular wage for hours worked or regular pay plus alternative day off as agreed between employer and employee.

Nova Scotia

Must have earned wages 15 of 30 days prior to the holiday and work scheduled day immediately before and after the holiday; if employee works on the holiday s/he's to be paid regular wage plus one and one-half times regular wage for hours worked or pay the employee one and one-half times their regular wage for all hours worked plus an alternative day off as agreed between employer and employee.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Must have been employed for 30 days prior to the holiday; if employee works on the holiday s/he's to be paid two times regular wages for normal work day or provided with paid day off in lieu to be taken no later than the employee's next vacation.

If the employee is required to work for fewer hours than usual on the statutory holiday, the employee must be paid normal wages for hours worked plus wages normally earned if the holiday was a normal working day.

There are other special rules for certain employees. If you're a retail business, you will also need to be aware of restrictions which apply to your industry. Additionally, certain other employment situations, such as elect to work employees, require special attention.