Canadian Statutory Holidays 2022 vs UK Bank Holidays

Comparing Canadian Statutory Holidays to UK Bank Holidays – 2024 Guide

Canadian Statutory Holidays vs UK Bank Holidays: A Comprehensive Comparison for 2024

One of the challenges of expanding your business internationally or hiring remote employees outside of your business’ home country is learning new labour laws, employment laws and even statutory holidays. Employment standards differ from country to country and even from sub-national state, or province, to state. And while many employment standards are comparable, such as the 40-hour workweek, National holidays and paid time off rarely align. Getting holidays and holiday pay wrong can result in big issues for your business, including back pay, poor employee relations, and even fines.

In this blog, we’ll look at the different approaches that Canada and the UK have taken to holiday time off, and how they impact payroll.

What Are Statutory Holidays in Canada?

Statutory holidays in Canada are a mix of cultural, national or religious legislated public holidays at a federal or provincial/territorial level. These are days when most workers, public or private, are entitled to a paid day off. There are 5 nationwide statutory holidays: New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Canada Day, Labour Day, Christmas Day, and many other provincial statutory holidays. Federal employees get 6 additional holidays.

Most employees in Canada receive a paid day off on all of their local statutory holidays, however, there are some exceptions. Employees required to work on a statutory holiday, for example in retail or hospitality, are entitled to receive a day off (in lieu of the holiday) at a later date or holiday pay and to be paid at a premium of “time and a half” (1 ½) the regular rate for the hours worked that day.

Canadian statutory holidays and other forms of paid time off are one of the most complex aspects of processing Canadian payroll. That’s why so many UK employers hiring in Canada choose to work with a PEO delivering employer of record services.

What Are UK Bank Holidays?

In contrast, the UK holiday system is simpler. Bank holidays are all the national public holidays in the United Kingdom (Scotland, Northern Ireland, England and Wales). The 8 common bank holidays that all of the UK share, are New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday (except Scotland), Early May Bank Holiday, Spring Bank Holiday, Summer Bank Holiday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

For Bank holidays, there is no statutory right for employees to have these days off work. If employees work on a bank holiday, there is no statutory right to be paid at a premium rate. Both depend on the terms of the employee’s employment contract; which makes it obvious why UK employers hiring Canada often struggle with the Canadian statutory holiday system.

2024 Holidays in Canada and the UK

Date Canada UK
January 1 New Year’s Day New Year’s Day
January 2 New Year’s Day (substitute day)
February 19 Family Day (New Brunswick, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan and British Columbia)
March 17 St. Patrick’s Day (Newfoundland and Labrador) St. Patrick’s Day (Northern Ireland)
March 29 Good Friday (except Quebec) Good Friday
April 1 Easter Monday Easter Monday (Northern Ireland, England and Wales)
April 23 St. George’s Day (Newfoundland and Labrador)
May 6 Early May Bank Holiday
May 8 Bank holiday for the coronation of King Charles III
May 20 Victoria Day
May 27 Spring Bank Holiday
June 24 Saint-Jean Baptiste Day (Quebec) / Discovery Day (Newfoundland and Labrador)
July 1 Canada Day
July 9 Nunavut Day (Nunvaut only)
July 12 Battle of the Boyne (Northern Ireland)
August 5 Civic Holiday (Alberta, BC, Saskatchewan, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nunavut Summer Bank Holiday (Scotland)
August 26 Summer Bank Holiday (England, Wales, Northern Ireland)
September 4 Labour Day
September 30 National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (federal)
October 14 Thanksgiving Day
November 11 Remembrance Day (Except Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland)
November 30 St. Andrew’s Day (Scotland)
December 25 Christmas Day Christmas Day
December 26 Boxing Day (Ontario) Boxing Day

Canadian Statutory Holiday Compliance

Ensuring statutory holiday compliance can be complex for businesses with employees in more than one province. As you can see in the chart above, Canadian statutory holidays vary from province to province, with some provinces opting out of national statutory holidays and others observing their own unique holidays. But it’s not just the days that are different; because the bulk of Canadian employment law is provincial, each province has distinct rules for calculating holiday pay, how holidays are observed when they fall on weekends, and who is exempt from statutory holiday rules. Canadian employers who fail to give statutory holidays off must provide a day in lieu, or provide holiday pay at time and a half. Employers who repeatedly fail to provide time off on statutory holidays may face investigations, fines, and lawsuits from employees.

Understanding the impact that Canadian statutory holidays, and other forms of paid time off, have on payroll can be daunting for global employers. Working with a PEO or Employer of Record can ease those worries by taking local compliance off your hands.

Work with a PEO Like Canadian Payroll Services

Ensuring employment law and payroll compliance can be a challenge for UK employers hiring Canadian remote workers. PEOs that deliver employer of record solutions, like Canadian Payroll Services, take on local compliance and payroll so that you don’t have to. We hire your workers and then lease them back to you to direct, create local employment agreements, provide local onboarding and HR support, and ensure that your Canadian workers are paid accurately and on time. It’s our job to keep on top of Canada’s constantly changing paid time off rules and other payroll regulations so that you can stay focused on what you do best: managing your business.

Want to learn more about how Canadian Payroll Services can help you hire and payroll compliantly? Contact us today!

Table of Contents