Just when Ontario’s frontline retail workers seemed to be on the verge of losing six of their nine guaranteed days off per year, Premier Doug Ford rejected the proposal. The decision came on Friday, just days after the workers had their pandemic pay premiums cut by most major grocers.
At present, all employees in Ontario are entitled to take the following statutory holiday days off work: New Year’s Day, Family Day, Good Friday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Labour Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
While those who don’t take these days off are entitled to receive stat pay at a rate of time-and-a-half, the Employment Standards Act (ESA) specifies that employees are legally entitled to take public holidays off unless they work in “a hospital, a continuous operation, or a hotel, motel, tourist resort, restaurant or tavern.”
Grocery stores don’t currently fall under the banner of exceptions, as supermarkets are forced to close on statutory holidays (with few exceptions) under the Retail Business Holidays Act.