When two public holidays falls consecutively and one is on a weekend and the other on a regular workday, can an Ontario employer select an alternative date either before or after the holiday? For example, Dec 25, 2021 falls on Sunday and December 26th falls on Monday in 2022. Can we select either December 23rd OR December 27th as an alternative/substitute day off in Ontario? Does the employee have to agree in writing, or can the employer unilaterally decide?
Thank you in advance for your information.
Here’s Alan’s response:
This is actually a bit of a complex question.
First, in the circumstances discussed, i.e., Ontario, Boxing Day is not a statutory holiday for employment standards purposes. This means there is nothing special about that day. When Christmas falls on a Saturday, as in 2021, the holiday for employment standards purposes falls on the Monday. In other words, work on December 25, 2021, only needs to be paid at straight time.
There are three different situations that affect who has the right to shift the holiday:
If Monday, December 27 would ordinarily be a work day, employees must agree to shifting the day from what the law recognizes;
In what are referred to as “continuous operations”, i.e., “a hospital, a 24-by-7 business, hotel, motel, tourist resort, restaurant or tavern”, the employer has the right to allocate the holiday to another day without employee consent.
The employer has the same rights as in 2 above, if December 27 would not ordinarily be a work day or, for employees on vacation on that day.