On February 7, 2023, Labour Minister Harry Bains introduced in the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia for first reading Bill 2, National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Act. If passed into law, Bill 2 will recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (September 30) as a public holiday in British Columbia and will establish it as a statutory holiday under the Employment Standards Act.
Currently, only the federal government, Prince Edward Island, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and the Yukon have formally recognized the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a statutory holiday.
However, some provincially regulated employers in B.C. may already recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a holiday, either voluntarily or pursuant to the terms of collective agreements.
If passed, employees whose employment is governed by the Employment Standards Act, will be entitled to statutory holiday pay in accordance with that legislation and/or their collective agreement, as applicable.
It is expected that Bill 2 will quickly make its way through the Legislative Assembly and receive Royal Ascent prior to September 30, 2023. However, as it has currently only received first reading, it may be subject to revision prior to being passed into law by the Legislative Assembly.
Lawson Lundell's Labour, Employment, and Human Rights Group will continue to monitor developments in respect of Bill 2 and any changes to British Columbia's employment law. Stay tuned – further updates will be posted on our blog.
Lucy Williams is an associate in the Labour, Employment and Human Rights Group of the Firm’s Vancouver office. Lucy advises and represents clients on a wide range of workplace and human rights issues, including hiring ...
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