Federal Government Proposes New Holiday: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
Date: October 1, 2020
On September 29, 2020, the federal government tabled Bill C-5, An Act to amend the Bills of Exchange Act, the Interpretation Act and the Canada Labour Code (National Day for Truth and Reconciliation).
If passed, Bill C-5 would create a new federal holiday entitled the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, with the purpose of honouring “First Nations, Inuit and Métis Survivors and their families and communities and to ensure that public commemoration of their history and the legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.”
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation would be observed on September 30 of each year, which is also commemorated as Orange Shirt Day.
A number of statutes would be amended to enact this change. Most importantly for employers, the definition of “general holiday” in the Canada Labour Code would be amended to include the new National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. In addition, the new holiday would be included in the special rule under the Code that applies to a limited number of general holidays when they fall on a non-working Saturday or Sunday (the rule requiring employees to be given the day immediately preceding or following as the general holiday). As a result of this change, there would be 10 general holidays under the Code.
Corresponding amendments would be made to the Interpretation Act and the Bills of Exchange Act.
If enacted, this new holiday would apply to all federally regulated employers which are subject to the Canada Labour Code. The new holiday would not apply to provincially regulated employers unless a provincial legislature makes similar amendments to provincial employment standards legislation.
Please contact your regular Hicks Morley lawyer should you require further information.
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