What is Included in Public Holiday Pay?

There has been some confusion surrounding the new Public Holiday Pay calculations and what monies employers are required to include in the new calculation method.

Under the new regulations, an employee’s public holiday pay is equal to the total amount of regular wages earned in the pay period immediately preceding the public holiday, divided by the number of days the employee worked in that period.

For the purposes of calculating Public Holiday Pay:

“regular wages” means,

  • any money (remuneration) payable by an employer to an employee under the terms of an employment contract (whether oral, written, express or implied),
  • any payment required to be made by an employer to an employee under the Employment Standards Act, (i.e. minimum wage) and
  • any allowances for room or board under an employment contract or certain other allowances

but does not include,

  • overtime pay,
  • public holiday pay or premium pay (time and a half on a public holiday),
  • vacation pay,
  • domestic, sexual violence or personal emergency leave pay,
  • tips or other gratuities,
  • any sums paid as gifts or bonuses that are dependent on the discretion of the employer and that are not related to hours, production or efficiency, (commission is a wage in this case)
  • expenses and travelling allowances,
  • termination, severance and/or termination of temporary assignment pay, or
  • subject to subsections 60 (3) or 62 (2) of the ESA, employer contributions to a benefit plan and payments to which an employee is entitled from a benefit plan;

Example: Mary works as a sales person for a small company, earning $17 per hour and is paid weekly. The pay period leading up to the public holiday has been busy, she worked five days and a total of 46 hours that week, and also earned $300 in commission.

Her Public Holiday Pay calculation is (46 hours x $17 + $300 commission = $1,082) ÷ 5 = $216.40

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