Can there be Weekly Overtime in BC for Straight Time Hours less than 40?

The normal rule is that to qualify for weekly overtime under the BC employment standards, employees have to work more than 40 regular hours. However, that’s not the case when BC employees work on a statutory holiday.

When an employee works on a statutory holiday, it’s a given that this work be paid for at overtime rates. In BC this means time-and-a-half after 8 hours of work and double time for any work after 12 hours. However, BC is one a handful of jurisdictions (QC is another), where work on a statutory holiday also counts toward the weekly threshold for overtime.

Here’s an example taken from my seminar series on BC employment standards.

John’s employer, a big-box grocery, only closes for Christmas Day. Otherwise, the store is open from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM each and every day of the year. John qualifies for statutory holiday pay for Thanksgiving and also works 6 hours on that Monday.

This is how John’s overtime must be calculated:

  SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT Total
Hours Worked   6 9 7 8 8 8 46
Regular Hours     8 7 8 8 3 34
Daily OT 1.5     1         1
Daily OT 2.0                
Weekly OT 1.5             5 5
Stat 1.5   6           6

John must be paid at time-and-a-half for working on the Thanksgiving Monday and these hours also count when determining whether the weekly overtime threshold has been met. Note, John ends up being paid 5 hours of weekly overtime, despite having only 34 straight-time hours that week.

In effect, overtime rates apply not only to the 6 hours that John actually worked on the statutory holiday, those hours also reduce the other hours required to qualify for weekly overtime in BC. Daily overtime isn’t affected since the requirement to pay at overtime rates has already been met.

Alan McEwen is a Vancouver Island-based HRIS/Payroll consultant and freelance writer with over 25 years’ experience in all aspects of the payroll industry. He can be reached at armcewen@shaw.ca or (250) 228-5280. Alan McEwen & Associates is currently offering a series of Vancouver Island payroll training seminars. For information on upcoming seminars, signup to our email list.

About Alan R. McEwen

HRIS/Payroll consultant and freelance writer
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