Paid Holidays

The Employment Standards Act of Prince Edward Island gives employees who qualify eight holidays with pay:

  • New Year's Day
  • Islander Day (3rd Monday in February)
  • Good Friday
  • Canada Day
  • Labour Day
  • National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (September 30th)
  • Remembrance Day
  • Christmas Day

Who qualifies for paid holidays?

Not all employees qualify for these holidays. In order to have a day off with pay for these holidays, an employee must:

  • be employed for/with the same employer for 30 calendar days prior to the holiday 
  • have earned pay on at least 15 of the 30 calendar days before the holiday 
  • have worked his/her last scheduled shift before the holiday and his/her first scheduled shift after the holiday

The important word to remember is "scheduled."

Many people believe this means that if he/she does not work the day after the holiday then he/she is not qualified to receive holiday pay. If the day is one when he/she is not scheduled to work, then he/she may still qualify for the paid holiday.

Is there an exception?

If an employer tells an employee not to report for work on his last scheduled work day immediately before the holiday, or the next scheduled work day after the holiday, the employee is still entitled to receive holiday pay.

What workers are not covered?

Workers who are not covered by the rules for holiday pay include:

  • salespersons whose income is derived primarily from commission on sales 
  • farm labourers 

Paying an employee for a holiday

If an employee meets the three qualifications listed above and is given the day off, the employer must pay a regular day's pay for that holiday. If the employee's hours of work change from day to day, or if wages change from pay to pay, the employer could average hours or wages over 30 previous days to calculate what to pay the employee for the holiday (total number of hours the employee worked in the 30 days previous to the holiday divided by the number of days worked in the same period).

An employee who qualifies for the paid holiday but who is not scheduled to work on the paid holiday is entitled to another day off with pay.

How do I calculate a wage when the employee works on a holiday?

An employee who works on a holiday and who is qualified to be paid holiday pay is entitled to receive the following:

  • a regular day's pay; plus 
  • one and one-half times the employee's regular rate of wages for the number of hours worked on that holiday; 


  • regular rate of wages for the number of hours worked on that day; plus, 
  • another day off with the employee's regular day of pay on a date agreed upon by the employer and employee before the employee's next paid vacation

Note: an employee who has an arrangement with their employer where they may elect to either work or not work when requested does not qualify.

This information is meant to serve as a guide only. You are advised to consult the Employment Standards Act to view the legislation. Where difference exists between this information and the legislation, the Act will be considered correct.

Who can I contact for more information about paid holidays?

Hazel Walsh-Scott (Office Coordinator)
Sherwood Business Centre
161 St. Peters Road, 2nd Floor 
PO Box 2000, Charlottetown, PE  C1A 7N8
Phone: 902-368-5550
Toll Free: 1-800-333-4362
Fax: 902-368-5476

Published date: 
September 20, 2022
Workforce, Advanced Learning and Population

General Inquiries

Labour and Industrial Relations
161 St. Peters Road
PO Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
Phone: 902-368-5550
Toll-free: 1-800-333-4362
Fax: 902-368-5476