What the Act says

The Act respecting labour standards contains provisions concerning statutory holidays that protect the majority of Québec workers, whether they are full or part time.

The majority of Québec employees are entitled to an indemnity or a compensatory leave for each of the following statutory holidays:

  • January 1st (New Year’s Day)
  • Good Friday or Easter Monday at the employer’s choice
  • The Monday preceding May 25th (National Patriots’ Day)
  • June 24th (National Holiday) — see the note below
  • July 1st. If this date falls on a Sunday: July 2nd
  • The 1st Monday in September (Labour Day)
  • The 2nd Monday in October (Thanksgiving)
  • December 25th (Christmas Day).

Employees are entitled to an indemnity or a compensatory leave at the employer’s choice.

indemnity
Sum of money paid to the employee either to compensate for prejudice or to compensate for a leave or certain disadvantages.
statutory holidays
Holiday on which the employer is obliged to give his employee a day off with an indemnity.
Note - The employer must pay the employee an indemnity or grant him a compensatory holiday in addition to his wages if he must work on a statutory holiday.
compensatory leave
Leave granted to the employee in place of the indemnity that was supposed to be paid for a paid leave by which the employee did not benefit.Note - It may happen that a compensatory leave is granted in the place of the payment of overtime worked; it must then be a condition of employment that is more advantageous for the employee in order to comply with the Act.

This leave must be taken in the 3 weeks preceding or following the holiday, except in the case of the National Holiday.

Note

To understand how this leave applies and how to calculate the indemnity, consult the National Holiday Act.

Employees of the clothing industry are also entitled to the following statutory holidays:

  • January 2nd
  • Good Friday and Easter Monday.

Employees working in a clothing store do not belong to this industry.    

Can an employer ask an employee to work on a statutory holiday?

Yes. Even if a statutory holiday is normally a non-working day for all employees, a worker may not have the day off owing to the needs of the business for which he works. For example, hotels, restaurants and convenience stores remain open.

Exceptions

The standard concerning statutory holidays does not apply:

  • to an employee who was absent from work without authorization or valid reason on the working day before or following the holiday. In this case, the employee will not receive the indemnity for this holiday and will not obtain a compensatory leave.
  • to an employee covered by a collective agreement or a decree that gives him at least 7 non-working days with pay, in addition to the National Holiday
  • to a non-unionized employee who receives a number of non-working days with pay, in addition to the National Holiday, equal to that stipulated in the collective agreement or decree of the unionized employees of the business for which he works.
working day
Day normally devoted to work by the employee.
decree
A decree is considered like a decision or a regulation. It should be pointed out that in Québec a collective agreement decree is a decree whereby the government imposes the application of the provisions of a collective agreement signed by a group of employees on other employees of the same activity field.

Is a part-time employee entitled to a statutory holiday?

Yes. A part-time employee is entitled to a statutory holiday, but his indemnity may be less. He is also entitled to his leave even if the holiday does not fall within his usual schedule.

How to calculate the indemnity

The Commission des normes du travail puts at your disposal calculation tools which help establish the amounts to which an employee is entitled.

The calculation of the indemnity is different according to the employee’s remuneration method.

Calculation tools for the indemnity for an:

Examples of the calculation of the indemnity for full-time employees, those with an irregular schedule, those who were hired recently or those who work overtime.

Is an employee who is on vacation entitled to the statutory holiday ?

Yes. He is entitled to a leave or a compensatory indemnity. He must agree with his employer on the date of his leave.

Frequently asked questions

  1. Is an employee who was laid off at the end of August entitled to the Labour Day holiday?
    No. He is not entitled to this holiday since he is no longer working at the time of the holiday.

  2. In businesses that are busy on December 25th, can the holiday be postponed to December 26th?
    No. The calendar cannot be changed. A statutory holiday is established under a law or is recognized by custom to commemorate a civil or religious event. As a result, it cannot be moved or postponed.

  3. Is an employee who has been working for less than 4 weeks entitled to an indemnity?
    Yes. However, the indemnity will be less since it will be equal to 1/20 of the wages earned since the employee began working.

  4. Can an employer ask an employee to work on a statutory holiday?
    Yes. Even if a statutory holiday is normally a non-working day for all employees, a worker may not have the day off due to the needs of the business for which he works. For example, hotels, restaurants and convenience stores remain open.

  5. Is a part-time employee entitled to a statutory holiday?
    Yes. A part-time employee is entitled to this holiday, but his indemnity may be less. He is entitled to his leave even if the statutory holiday does not fall within his regular schedule.

  6. Is an employee who is on vacation entitled to a statutory holiday?
    Yes. He is entitled to a leave or a compensatory indemnity. He must agree with his boss on the date of his leave.

Gouvernement du Québec

© Gouvernement du Québec