The first reversal of a Bill 148 change is on the horizon. On May 7, 2018, the Ontario government announced it will be reviewing the Bill 148 change to how public holiday pay is calculated. The new way of calculating public holiday pay has reportedly generated the most complaints of any of the Bill 148 changes to the Employment Standards Act, 2000.

The new O. Reg. 375/18 comes into force on July 1, 2018. It reverts the public holiday pay formula to the pre-Bill 148 version. This reversion is temporary and O. Reg. 375/18 will be revoked on December 31, 2019. This will allow the Ministry of Labour time to complete their review of public holiday pay and likely means that we can expect further changes.

Calculating Public Holiday Pay

For public holidays prior to July 1, 2018, such as the upcoming Victoria Day holiday, the Bill 148 formula will need to be used. This requires public holiday pay be calculated in the following manner:

  • Divide the wages earned by the worker in the pay period immediately preceding the public holiday by the number of days actually worked (s.24(1)).

After June 30, 2018, public holiday pay will be calculated following the pre-Bill 148 method and in accordance with O. Reg. 375/18:

  • Divide the wages earned by the worker in the four work weeks prior to the work week in which the public holiday occurs and divide by 20.

The effect of the Bill 148 amendment was to give part-time and casual workers a full day of pay for a public holiday, as long as they worked at least one full day in the previous pay period. The former and future method for calculating public holiday pay has the effect of giving workers who do not work full time only a portion of the public holiday pay commensurate with their part-time status.