Long weekend in Ontario! w00t!

This weekend is the first long weekend incorporating the new Family Day holiday (Monday February 18th). There have been reports that not everyone will get it off. I notice that The Bay department store was advertising that they’ll be open, for example.

I think I’ll stay home and [del]surf the Dope[/del] clean my apartment.

Apparently, the rules are that if you get your normal 8 stats then you get it off, but if you get the extras off (bank holidays) then you don’t, which apparently includes government employees, banks, postal workers, cops, etc. There have been reports that some people – probably the aforementioned bank-holiday-enjoying people – aren’t too happy with the way this stat plays out. Me? I planned my winter vacation around it, so I get next week off as well as the following monday. Woot!

If Alberta’s experience is anything to go by, the problem has to do with the August long weekend. That’s not a Canada-wide statutory holiday along the lines of Canada Day or New Years Day, apparently; it’s more a local one. Family Day is also a similar local one. So the question facing employers is, “Can we really afford to allow our employees to take two local holidays a year, or should we limit them to just one?” :eek: Of course, such questions are for politicians and business people; most ordinary Joes and Janes just want both days off anyway. I don’t blame them.

One place I worked at in Calgary tried a solution: at the start of the year, all employees were polled as to whether they wanted to take Family Day in February or the August Long Weekend. They could vote for one or the other, but not both. They voted for Family Day, and when that day arrived, the plant and office was shut down, and we all enjoyed a long weekend.

But as the months passed, and the weather got nicer, the employees started to wonder if they made the right decision. Finally, when we got to that Monday morning in August, the mood was decidedly unhappy. Some folks complained about having to make child-care arrangements that were more expensive than usual (it was a holiday, after all), others complained that they had to cut short a weekend away to come to work; and there were other grumblings too, mainly dealing with dissappointed families, quashed plans, and the like. Anyone who suggested, “Well, you knew this would happen when we voted back in January, so just suck it up” was ignored as much as possible.

The company decided that a grumpy workforce wasn’t going to produce much of value that day, so it sensibly closed at noon and we all took off to enjoy what was left of the day. Moral of the story: You can’t give folks two holidays on the calendar, and expect them to work happily on one of them.

Enjoy your holiday, Sunspace, and the other Ontario Dopers; and make sure you enjoy the August one too!

The problem with the August holiday (Simcoe day here in Toronto, Colonial By Day in Ottawa) is that it’s a civic holiday, not statutory, and isn’t even observed evenly across Ontario. It seems to be at the whim of the employer as to whether or not employees can take the day off. My current job is only one of two I’ve had where we closed for the day. (I’m glad we do though.)