February 21, 2011: ON Family Day, Public Holiday
Family Day in Ontario was initiated to recognize the values of home and family. Most employees get a day off with public holiday pay. Generally, employees who don't qualify for public holiday entitlements must work on Family Day if asked by their employer. Most non-qualified employees are entitled to be paid one-and-a-half times their regular rate of pay for each hour worked on Family Day. There is no substitute day off. If a non-qualified employee is not asked to work on Family Day, he or she gets the day off with no pay. Family Day was also made a public holiday under the Ontario Retail Business Holidays Act (RBHA). Most retail outlets must close on a day that is a holiday under that act. The RBHA provides certain municipalities the right to have their own by-laws.
Exempt from the act are book or magazine stores under 2,400 square feet with a maximum of three employees, pharmacies under 7,500 square feet, flower shops and gas stations. Stores may also be open on these holidays if exempted under specific municipal by-laws for the development or maintenance of tourism. Any questions about tourism designations or local hours of retail operation should be directed to the municipal clerk's office in your municipality.
The City of Toronto Act, passed in January 2007, exempted the City of Toronto from the Retail Business Holidays Act, giving the City the ability to set its own rules regarding retail business holiday shopping. You should be aware that retailers within the municipal boundaries of the City of Toronto are permitted to open on Family Day.
Source: Taken from Employment Law at Work, Issue 80, February 2011, HRPA and First Reference.