July 9, 2018

Bill 148: What employers need to know about updates to calculating Ontario holiday pay

Bill 148 included amendments to how public holiday pay is calculated. Effective July 1, 2018, employers must return to the old PHP calculation. Here are the details and what employers need to be aware of, from Ceridian’s Compliance Counsel Alexandra Myers.

With the passing of Ontario’s Bill 148 -- the Fair Workplaces Better Jobs Act, 2017, certain amendments to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 became effective on January 1, 2018. This included an amendment to the way Public Holiday Pay (PHP) is calculated. 

Prior to January 1, 2018, PHP was calculated by dividing regular wages earned and vacation pay payable in the four weeks prior to the holiday by 20. On January 1, 2018 it changed to be the regular wages earned in the pay period before the holiday divided by the number of days worked in that pay period.

The previous holiday pay calculation in Ontario has been reinstated

On May 7, 2018, the Ontario government announced Ontario Regulation 375/18  in response to the feedback it received. Under this regulation, employers are to return to the old PHP calculation (in place before January 1, 2018). The regulation is effective on July 1, 2018, and continues until December 31, 2019, giving the government time to conduct a thorough review of the approach towards pay on public holidays.

What employers need to be aware of

Employers with employees covered under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 should review their holiday pay policies to ensure the calculation that was in place prior to January 1, 2018 is applied to holidays on and after July 1, 2018.  

Alexandra Myers

Based in Winnipeg, Alexandra is Compliance Counsel at Ceridian.

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