Wednesday, 21 August 2019
featured Labour

For many workers Natal Day leaves little to celebrate

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – Could the NS government be any stingier with regard to legislating paid holidays in our province? Probably not!  We are now coming up to one of what I call the ‘unrecognised’ holidays – Natal Day

Natal Day, celebrated on Mon. Aug. 5, is a holiday only for employees represented by trade unions, or those employed by government offices which tend to close that day. If your employer has a custom and practice of closing for Natal Day – and paying you for the holiday – Labour Standards will try to enforce it. 

But for almost everyone else in the province, here’s what you need to know.  

Natal Day is not a paid holiday, or what some call a statutory holiday.  Natal Day is also not a retail closing day—stores and services can remain open from noon to six pm.  Employees have no right to refuse to work that day, if the employer is open and wants you to work. There is no overtime or holiday pay if you do work that day. If your employer opts to close for the day, you could get the day off with no pay. 

With only 6 paid holidays a year, Nova Scotia (and PEI) boast the least number of paid holidays in Canada.  

If you are looking for a paid holiday in August, think about organizing a union at your workplace.  Ask me how. 

Stat Holidays in Atlantic Canada


Nova ScotiaNew BrunswickPrince Edward IslandNewfoundland & Labrador
Paid public holidays6764
Plus Remembrance Day1111
Total7876

Judy Haiven is a retired professor from the Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary’s University.  She is a founder of Equity Watch, a Halifax based organization which fights discrimination and bullying in the workplace. Contact her at equitywatchns@gmail.com. Join the Equity Watch Facebook page.

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