Driver not entitled to statutory holiday pay

|Canadian Employment Law Today

ERB Transport Limited is in the highway transportation business. The company had reached an agreement with the Department of Labour in 1985 which provided that if an employee was not available for work immediately before or after general holidays, in particular those of Dec. 25 and 26, the employee was not entitled to be paid for the holidays unless the employee had obtained leave to be absent. Such an agreement was signed because of the company’s need for staff at holiday times. This policy was posted in the offices of ERB Transport.

Jean-Marc Vermette was employed as a long-distance driver with ERB Transport. He was not available for work on Dec. 24, 1998, and received no leave from his employer. Based on the agreement between the company and the Department of Labour, ERB Transport determined that Mr. Vermette did not qualify for payment for the general holidays of Dec. 25 and 26.

On Feb. 18, 1999, Mr. Vermette filed a complaint with Human Resources Development Canada pursuant to the Canada Labour Code alleging that he had not been paid for the general holidays of Dec. 25 and 26. The complaint was investigated by an HRDC officer who rendered a decision confirming that the complaint was valid. ERB Transport was asked to pay Mr. Vermette the sum of $447.13 less deductions.