How do statutory holidays affect overtime in BC?

Here’s a test of your payroll knowledge: do you know how many overtime hours Katlyn worked and can you explain why?

Katlyn’s normal hours of work are Monday to Friday, 8 paid hours per day. For the week, February 12 to 18, 2017, Katlyn worked her normal hours, except on Monday, February 13, BC Family Day. That day, Katlyn qualified for statutory holiday pay and was paid at time-and-a-half for the 9 hours she worked. In addition, Katlyn also worked 5 hours on the Saturday, that week.

Are any of these the right answer, including the reason why?

  1. No overtime is owing, since Katlyn’s straight time work hours that week are 37 (Tuesday to Friday at 8 hours and 5 on Saturday). You can’t count the work on the statutory holiday toward the weekly overtime threshold (40 hours), since that work has already been paid at time and a half. The hours for the statutory holiday itself don’t count as work.
  2. Five overtime hours are owing, since in BC when there is a statutory holiday, the weekly overtime threshold is reduced by a fixed 8 hours. If the weekly overtime threshold is 32 hours, the 37 straight time hours (as in 1# above) give 5 overtime hours.
  3. Five overtime hours are owing. Katlyn’s regular hours on the statutory holiday count for overtime purposes, so there are 40 straight time hours from Monday to Friday; hence, the 5 hours on Saturday count as overtime. The work on the statutory holiday doesn’t count since these hours have already been paid at time and a half.
  4. There are 14 overtime hours owing. The hours worked for overtime purposes include the 40 regular hours, Monday to Friday, the 9 hours worked on the statutory holiday and the 5 hours worked on Saturday. In BC, the work on a stat and the regular hours for the statutory holiday both count toward the threshold for weekly overtime.

Before answering, let’s review the rules for statutory holidays, under the BC employment standards, as these affect overtime:

a. The weekly threshold for overtime, 40 hours, doesn’t change when there is a statutory holiday;
b. Statutory holidays themselves don’t count as hours worked for either daily or weekly overtime in BC;
c. Work on a statutory holiday does not count for daily overtime (it’s already paid at overtime rates);
d. For weekly overtime purposes, only the first 8 hours worked in a day count;
e. Work on a statutory holiday does count for weekly overtime purposes, when those hours fall in the 40 hours used to determine weekly overtime. But, work on a statutory holiday is itself not overtime. In other words, you don’t pay the time and a half premium for work on a statutory holiday and pay for those same hours again as overtime. That would be double dipping;

It might be best to explain (e) above with an example.

Jeremy worked on the Good Friday statutory holiday. That week he worked 7.5 paid hours per day, Sunday to Friday, inclusive. He then worked 4 hours on Saturday. The 40 hours used to determine that weekly overtime is payable are the 37.5 straight-time hours from Sunday to Thursday, plus the first 2.5 hours worked on Friday, the statutory holiday. However, none of the hours worked on Good Friday are overtime. The only hours that count as greater than the 40-hour threshold are the 4 hours worked on Saturday.

Now that we’ve reviewed these rules, which of the answers 1 to 4 above are correct, including the reason?

Number 1 is wrong, since work on a statutory holiday does count toward the 40-hour threshold for weekly overtime.

Number 2 is wrong, since the weekly threshold for overtime, 40 hours, doesn’t change in BC when there’s a statutory holiday.

Numbers 3 and 4 are wrong, for the same reason: a statutory holiday itself doesn’t count as time worked for overtime purposes in BC. Number 3 is also wrong since the hours worked on a statutory holiday do count toward the 40-hour weekly overtime threshold. Number 4 is also wrong because we only count the first 8 hours worked in a day, for weekly overtime purposes.

If none of the answers above are correct, what’s the right answer?

Numbers 2 and 3 above do give the correct overtime hours: Katlyn is owed 5 hours of weekly overtime. However, not for the reasons given in those answers. Instead, the first 8 hours worked on the statutory holiday, the 8 hours worked on each day from Tuesday to Friday and the 5 hours worked on Saturday count toward the 40-hour threshold for weekly overtime. Since these hours total 45, Katlyn has 5 hours owing at time and a half, as weekly overtime.

Alan McEwen is a Vancouver Island-based HRIS/Payroll consultant and freelance writer with over 25 years’ experience in all aspects of payroll. He can be reached at armcewen@shaw.ca or (250) 228-5280. If you like these articles, please sign up to my email list to be notified of future postings.

About Alan R. McEwen

HRIS/Payroll consultant and freelance writer
Gallery | This entry was posted in Employment Standards and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s