A recent amendment to the British Columbia Employment Standards Act now ensures that the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a statutory holiday for all employees in British Columbia, regardless of the holiday provisions in any collective agreement governing unionized employees.
Through Part 5 of Bill 24, which received Royal Assent on May 11, 2023, the Employment Standards Act was amended to make the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation a holiday for all employees to whom the ESA applies, including all unionized employees.
In our previous article, we reported on Bill 2 – the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Act – which added the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a statutory holiday under the Employment Standards Act. At that time, we noted that the effect of Bill 2 in unionized workplaces would depend on the specific language in each collective agreement. This was because statutory holidays are generally subject to a “meet or exceed” test under section 3 of the Employment Standards Act. The recent amendment through Bill 24 means that regardless of the holiday provisions of a collective agreement, unionized employers must provide the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a statutory holiday.
Any disputes regarding the application, interpretation or operation of this new provision to employees working under a collective agreement shall be referred to the parties’ grievance procedure as opposed to the enforcement provisions of the ESA.
If you have any questions regarding National Truth and Reconciliation Day, please contact your Harris lawyer.