Good Friday A Public Holiday Under Employment Standards Act, 2000

    TORONTO, March 14 /CNW/ - Many employees will get the day off with public
holiday pay on Good Friday, April 6, 2007. Good Friday is one of eight public
holidays under Ontario's Employment Standards Act, 2000.


    Generally, employees qualify for Good Friday entitlements unless they
fail, without reasonable cause, to work:

    -  Their entire regularly-scheduled shift before or after Good Friday; or
    -  Their entire shift on Good Friday if they agreed or were required to
       work that day.

    Public holiday pay is an amount equal to an employee's regular wages
earned in the four work weeks prior to Good Friday plus any vacation pay
payable during that period, divided by 20.
    Employees who qualify for Good Friday entitlements can be full-time,
part-time, permanent or on a limited-term contract. They can also be students.
It does not matter how recently they were hired or how many days they worked
before Good Friday.


    Qualified employees are entitled to take off Good Friday with public
holiday pay. They can also agree in writing to work on Good Friday and:

    -  Be paid their regular rate for all hours worked on Good Friday plus
       receive a substitute holiday with public holiday pay; or
    -  If the employee and employer agree in writing, be paid public holiday
       pay plus "premium pay" of one-and-a-half times their regular rate for
       all hours worked on Good Friday.


    If Good Friday falls on a non-working or vacation day, qualified
employees can either take a substitute work day off with public holiday pay
or, if they agree in writing, they can receive public holiday pay for Good
Friday with no substitute day off.


    Generally, employees who don't qualify for public holiday entitlements
must work on Good Friday if asked by their employer. Most non-qualified
employees are entitled to be paid one-and-a-half times their regular rate of
pay for each hour worked on Good Friday. There is no substitute day off.
    If a non-qualified employee is not asked to work on Good Friday, he or
she gets the day off with no pay.


    Retail employees

    Most employees who work in retail businesses - businesses that sell goods
or services to the public - have the right to refuse to work on Good Friday
even if they don't qualify for public holiday entitlements.
    Retail employees who have agreed to work on Good Friday may still refuse
the assignment if they give their employer 48 hours advance notice before the
first hour of work on Good Friday.
    However, these rules for retail employees do not apply to those who work
for businesses that primarily:

    -  Sell prepared meals (restaurants, cafeterias, cafés, etc.)
    -  Rent living accommodations (hotels, tourist resorts, camps, inns,
    -  Provide educational, recreational or amusement services to the public
       (museums, art galleries, sports stadiums, etc.)
    -  Sell goods and services that are incidental to the businesses
       described above and are located on the same premises (museum gift
       shops, souvenir shops in sports stadiums, etc.).

    Under the Retail Business Holidays Act, most retail outlets must close on
Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

    Hospital, continuous operations and hospitality employees

    Employees in hospitals, continuous operations and the hospitality
industry may be required to work on Good Friday if it falls on a day they
would normally work and if they are not on vacation. This applies to employees
who work for hospitals, nursing homes, hotels, motels, tourist resorts,
restaurants and taverns, as well as to employees who work for continuous
operations (operations or parts of operations that do not shut down or close
down more than once a week such as oil refineries and alarm monitoring

    Elect-to-work employees

    Elect-to-work employees - those who decide without penalty whether or not
to work when requested - are not covered by the public holidays provisions of
the Employment Standards Act, 2000 except for the right to be paid
one-and-a-half times their regular rate of pay for each hour worked on Good


    Some employees are not eligible for Good Friday entitlements because
public holiday provisions under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 do not
apply to certain jobs. These employees include:

    -  Seasonal workers (employees who work for an employer no more than
       16 weeks in a calendar year) in a hotel, motel, tourist resort,
       restaurant or tavern who are provided with room and board
    -  Taxicab drivers
    -  Professionals such as lawyers, doctors, teachers, architects,
       chiropodists, chiropractors, dentists, massage therapists,
       optometrists, pharmacists, professional engineers, physiotherapists,
       psychologists, public accountants, surveyors, veterinarians and those
       covered under the Drugless Practitioners Act
    -  Students in training for any of the professions listed above
    -  Students who instruct or supervise children or who work at a
       children's camp or recreational program operated by a charitable
    -  Hunting and fishing guides, commercial fishers and some farm workers
    -  Commissioned salespeople, except route salespeople, who normally work
       away from their employer's place of business
    -  Employees who install and maintain swimming pools
    -  Employees in landscape gardening, mushroom growing, or the growing,
       transporting and laying of sod
    -  Employees who grow flowers or trees and shrubs for retail and
       wholesale trade
    -  Employees who breed and board horses on a farm or who keep
       fur-bearing mammals for propagation or the production of pelts for
       commercial purposes
    -  Construction workers who receive 7.3 per cent or more of their wages
       for vacation pay or holiday pay
    -  Residential building superintendents, janitors or caretakers who live
       in the building
    -  Firefighters
    -  Registered real estate salespeople.


SOURCES For more information, employees and employers may call the Ontario Ministry of Labour's Employment Standards Information Centre at (416) 326-7160 or 1-800-531-5551, or visit the nearest ServiceOntario Centre. Written information - including employment standards fact sheets on subjects such as public holidays - can be accessed via the Ontario Ministry of Labour's website at ------------------------------------------------------------------------- PUBLIC INQUIRIES (Employees and Employers): Pay rates and time off: Store openings: Ministry of Labour Ministry of Government Services (416) 326-7160 or (416) 326-8800 or 1-800-531-5551 1-800-889-9768 ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: MEDIA INQUIRIES: Pay rates and time off:
Belinda Sutton, Ministry of Labour, (416) 326-7405; Store openings: Ciaran
Ganley, Ministry of Government Services, (416) 325-8659

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