Call Us

Have a Question

Ontario Statutory Holidays 2024

Ontario Statutory Holidays 2024

If you do not work in a federally regulated workplace in Ontario (banks, railroads, interprovincial transport, telecommunications, the federal public service, the armed forces), you are covered by the Ontario Employment Standards Act (“ESA”). The ESA sets standards governing overtime, vacation, and statutory holidays.

Note that there are some kinds of work exempted from statutory holiday provisions. People working in continuous operations (i.e., workplaces that operate 24 hours a day and either never shut down or shut down no more than once a week), hospitals, nursing homes, restaurants, taverns, hotels and motels, and tourist resorts, may be required to work on statutory holidays that fall on days they would otherwise regularly work.

To find out whether your job is exempt, please refer to: “Industries and jobs with exemptions or special rules.”

Ontario has nine statutory holidays, also known as public holidays. The majority of employees, on a statutory holiday, are entitled to have the day off at public holiday pay, which is 1.5 times regular pay.

Statutory Holidays in Ontario:

New Year’s Day: Monday, January 1, 2024

Family Day: Monday, February 19, 2024

Good Friday: Friday, March 29, 2024

Victoria Day: Monday, May 20, 2024

Canada Day: Monday, July 1, 2024

Labour Day: Monday, September 2, 2024

Thanksgiving Day: Monday, October 14, 2024

Christmas Day: Wednesday, December 25, 2024

Boxing Day: Thursday, December 26, 2024

What about Easter Monday, the civic holiday in August (known in Ontario as Simcoe Day), the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, and Remembrance Day? Aren’t they holidays?

Many workplaces make provision for time off on these days, but they are NOT statutory holidays under the ESA. Time off on these days is at the discretion of the employer.

Working on a Statutory Holiday

An employer may ask an employee to work on a statutory holiday, but the employee must agree to do so, in writing or via email or other electronic means. Employees who work on a statutory holiday are entitled to regular pay, plus a substitute day off for which they must receive public holiday pay (1.5 times regular pay).

Alternatively, employees can opt for public holiday pay for the holiday worked, plus premium pay for all hours worked on the holiday. In this case, the employee agrees to give up the substitute day off.

In those cases where the employee agrees to work on the substitute holiday, but not in writing or electronically, the substitute holiday must be scheduled for a day no later than three months after the public holiday for which it was earned. If the employee agrees electronically or in writing, the substitute day off can be scheduled up to 12 months after the public holiday.

If an employee receives a substitute holiday, the employer must, prior to the public holiday in question, provide the employee with a clearly dated written statement setting out the public holiday that is being substituted, and the date of the substitute holiday.

What about holidays that fall on the weekend or a non-working day?

When this occurs, employees are entitled to a substitute holiday off at public holiday pay. Typically, with holidays on weekends, for example, the substitute holiday is moved to the Monday of the following week. Alternatively, the employee may agree, electronically in writing, to receive only public holiday pay for the public holiday. Part-time or casual workers are more likely to exercise this option.

What is the first and last rule?

The first and last rule requires employees to work the last regularly scheduled shift before the statutory holiday, and the first shift after it, in order to be eligible to receive statutory holiday pay. If an employee is absent for either or both of these shifts, they do not receive statutory holiday pay, unless they can show reasonable cause. Examples of reasonable cause include emergencies that prevent the employee from coming into work (accidents, injuries) or other circumstances beyond the employee’s control. If reasonable cause is shown, the employee is entitled to statutory holiday pay.

How to calculate statutory holiday pay in Ontario

To determine what statutory holiday, pay the employee is entitled to:

  • Add all the employee’s regular wages, plus vacation pay payable, for the 4-week period prior to the statutory holiday.
  • Divide by 20.


The calculation of vacation pay for this period depends on the way the employer has chosen to deal with vacation pay. Some employers pay vacation pay with every cheque. In this case, when calculating statutory holiday pay, the vacation pay will be at least 4% of the employee’s wages for the 4-week period in question.

HR Proactive Inc. can assist you with creating a comprehensive statutory holiday policy to include in your employee handbook.  We have been helping organizations understand provincial and federal employment guidelines for over 25 years.



Call us today to experience our exceptional customer service!
HR Proactive Inc. can help,

Training Your Way

Skip to content