On September 13, 2022, the federal government announced a national day of mourning will be observed on September 19, 2022, in recognition of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, and published a formal proclamation of the Governor General requesting the People of Canada set aside this day to honour the Queen’s memory.
At present, September 19, 2022, will be a holiday for federal government employees only, with the federal Minister of Labour clarifying it will not amount to a general holiday for all employees in federally-regulated industries.
The BC government has now issued a news release stating that BC public-sector employers have been advised to honour September 19, and noting that BC’s K-12 public schools, public post-secondary institutions, and most BC Crown corporations will be closed on September 19. The BC government is encouraging private-sector employers to find a way to recognize this day, without going so far as to declare a provincial statutory holiday.
What does this currently mean for BC Employers? Given the federal government declared a national day of mourning, rather than a federal statutory/general holiday applicable to all federal industries, and given that the Province of BC has not declared September 19 a provincial statutory holiday, BC employers will not need to treat September 19 as a statutory holiday for their non-union employees. For union employees, the question of any entitlement to a paid holiday will depend on the interpretation of the language in their collective agreement relating to holidays.
We will be monitoring for further information from the federal and BC governments as it is announced.
If you have any questions regarding the above, please do not hesitate to contact your Harris lawyer.