The Ontario Government has created a new Public Holiday under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “Act”), called Family Day. Family Day is to take place on the third Monday in February and will be the ninth Public Holiday under the Act.
With the creation of this new Public Holiday, employers must consider whether they are obligated to recognize Family Day as a holiday. In particular, for those employers subject to a collective agreement, the holiday provisions of the agreement must be considered. For example, the collective agreement may provide for the recognition of any new holidays proclaimed by the Government.
Further, under the Act, if a collective agreement or employment contract provides a “greater right or benefit” than the Act, that agreement or contract will prevail. Accordingly, the holiday provisions of the collective agreement should be compared against the public holiday provisions of the Act to assess whether, on the whole, the holiday provisions of the collective agreement provide a greater right or benefit. If they do, and if the collective agreement does not require the employer to recognize any new holidays which are proclaimed, then an employer may not need to provide its employees with Family Day as an additional public holiday.
For further information on Family Day, please contact our offices.