The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a new paid general holiday for federally regulated public and private sector employees – but not, in most cases, for provincially regulated employees.
The day will be observed annually on September 30 to commemorate the tragic history and ongoing legacy of residential schools and to honour survivors, their families and Indigenous communities.
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation has not yet been legally recognized by any provincial government, although British Columbia recently announced it would honour the holiday for all public sector employees.
The Alberta Government, meanwhile, has stated it will not recognize the day, but will allow employers to decide whether they want to treat September 30 as a general holiday.
The Saskatchewan Government has also announced that it will not be observing National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a statutory holiday. However, the University of Saskatchewan and City of Saskatoon will honour the holiday.
The Manitoba Government recently announced that it will recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30. However, the Day has not been proposed as a new general holiday under The Employment Standards Code (Manitoba). Read our Manitoba Acknowledges National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to learn more.
Excluding public sector employers in British Columbia, provincially regulated employers are not obligated to recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a paid general holiday. However, they should carefully review the specific terms of their collective and employment agreements to determine if there are any provisions that might obligate them to recognize a federally legislated holiday.
The new federal general holiday has implications for financial services as banks have announced they will observe this holiday. This means that on September 30 there will be no clearing or settlements. Federally-regulated organizations should take extra caution to assess how these closures will affect their operations and ensure they account for this potential disruption.
Read our National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Introduced as New Holiday blog to learn more.
Note: This article is of a general nature only and is not exhaustive of all possible legal rights or remedies. In addition, laws may change over time and should be interpreted only in the context of particular circumstances such that these materials are not intended to be relied upon or taken as legal advice or opinion. Readers should consult a legal professional for specific advice in any particular situation.