Is Boxing Day a statutory holiday, or is it not?

This question has been known to cause confusion for organizations. According to the Employment Standards Act of BC, the 26th of December is not considered a required statutory holiday. However, many organizations extend the holiday cheer by designating the 26th as a paid holiday to provide their employees with an extra day off. Boxing Day falls on Friday this year, and we recommend treating the day as an extra statutory holiday (if you don’t already), by allowing your employees to continue their holiday celebrations and enjoy an extra-long weekend.

What about Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve?

Christmas Eve (December 24th) and New Year’s Eve (December 31st) often create a buzzing atmosphere in the office. If operational needs permit, why not free this energy and shorten the workday? Your employees will welcome this holiday gift.

If you are wondering how to communicate such a policy, here is an example:

Traditionally, our offices close early on December 24th and December 31st. The time of the closure will be dependent on business needs and will be communicated during the day of the closure.

And, if you are asked about this half as frequently as we are, here is an additional guideline to consider:

If you choose to take a vacation day on either of these dates, it will be counted as one full day.

The reason for this is that those who work the day may benefit from going home early, however, it’s still dependent on business needs, and for that reason, not guaranteed. By addressing these factors at the outset, employees can make an informed decision on whether or not they want to book the day off.