Labour Day A Public Holiday Under Employment Standards Act, 2000

    TORONTO, Aug. 28 /CNW/ - Many employees will get the day off with public
holiday pay on Labour Day on Monday September 1, 2008. Labour Day is one of
nine public holidays under Ontario's Employment Standards Act, 2000.


    Generally, employees qualify for Labour Day entitlements unless they
fail, without reasonable cause, to work:
      -  Their entire regularly-scheduled shift before or after Labour Day;

      -  Their entire shift on Labour Day 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 Labour Day plus any vacation pay
payable during that period, divided by 20.
    Employees who qualify for Labour Day 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 Labour Day.


    Qualified employees are entitled to take off Labour Day with public
holiday pay. They can also agree in writing to work on Labour Day and:
      -  Be paid their regular rate for all hours worked on Labour Day 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 Labour Day.


    If Labour Day 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 Labour Day with no
substitute day off.


    Generally, employees who don't qualify for public holiday entitlements
must work on Labour Day 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 Labour Day. There is no substitute day off.
    If a non-qualified employee is not asked to work on Labour Day, 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 Labour Day
even if they don't qualify for public holiday entitlements.
    Retail employees who have agreed to work on Labour Day may still refuse
the assignment if they give their employer 48 hours advance notice before the
first hour of work on Labour Day.
    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
Labour Day.

    Hospital, continuous operations and hospitality employees

    Employees in hospitals, continuous operations and the hospitality
industry may be required to work on Labour Day 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 Labour


    Some employees are not eligible for Labour Day 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
    -  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, visit the nearest ServiceOntario Centre, or the Ministry of Labour's website at For further information: ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Public enquiries (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 enquiries: Pay rates and time off: Bruce
Skeaff, Ministry of Labour, (416) 326-7405; Store openings: Ciaran Ganley,
Ministry of Government Services, (416) 325-8659

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