Labour Day: A Public Holiday on September 4

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Every year, Labour Day is celebrated in Quebec on the first Monday in September. This year, it falls on September 4th. Labour Day was created by law in Quebec in 1899. Do you know the rules?

Before you read this article!

The following rules apply only to employees covered by the Act respecting labour standards.


Your employer must compensate you. This generally means an “indemnity” (a payment of money). This means you will be paid, even if you do not work on the 4th.

The indemnity is equal to 1/20th of your salary over the past 4 weeks’ of pay before September 4th. Your employer must include any tips you received in this calculation, but not your overtime hours.

If you worked full-time, the indemnity will generally equal a full day’s salary. If you worked part-time, then the indemnity will be smaller.

If you’re paid by commission (in part or in full), the payment will be equal to 1/60th of your salary over the 12 weeks before September 4th.

The Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST or labour standards, pay equity and workplace health and safety board) has a tool that you can use to calculate what you are owed.

Careful! To receive holiday pay, you must not be absent from work, without permission, the workday before or after September 4th.

If you must work on September 4th 

Your employer can ask you to work during a public holiday. If this happens, they must pay you for your hours. In addition, they must also pay you an indemnity. Your employer will have two choices. They can:

  • give you money, as described above, or
  • give you a different day off instead. This must be a paid day off! Your employer must pay you the equivalent of the indemnity described above. This replacement day off must be taken 3 weeks before or after September 4th.