I loved statutory Holidays when I was still working: an extra PAID day off; FREE time to sleep in, lunch with friends, enjoy the sights; or, if I still had to work, DOUBLE time pay … and sometimes even DOUBLE TIME AND A HALF. Wonderful!
But, of course, not so great from every employers’ point of view: paying people NOT to work on statutory holidays adds to production costs … affects the company’s bottom line and increases the cost of keeping each worker.
Raw materials costs, labour, energy costs, taxes … even tariffs, both incoming and outgoing have all been rising steadily in recent years, also affecting bottom lines. On top of any health, retirement, vacation benefits companies absorb … in addition to those paid statutory holidays as well.
And, in BC for example, there are already TEN such FULLY PAID statutory holidays each year: New Year; Family Day; Good Friday; Victoria Day; Canada Day; BC Day; Labour Day; Thanksgiving; Remembrance Day; and, Christmas Day.
That’s a LOT of EXTRA paid … or DOUBLE PAID days for each worker. Multiply that by the number of employees … and the number of paid statutory holidays … and for small or medium-sized firms, the burden can become hard to absorb.
Easy for government, of course … with its almost bottomless pit of public funding to draw on, but for a businesses with, say TEN workers, that equals a HUNDRED days of extra FULLY-PAID but non-productive time that small employer has to pay out each year.
Those of us on the receiving end of paid benefits seldom think about how much they all add up to for employers.
Hard to imagine what those costs work out to very large corporations, with hundreds or thousands of employees! But at least their production (and hopefully profit levels) levels are so high, including costs of keeping their plants going on statutory holidays, their ability to absorb the EXTRA per-worker costs is easier to handle than businesses with only 10 or 20 workers that actually have to close down on each and every statutory holiday, lose production but still pay full salaries to every worker for the day.
So with Canada’s employed labour force now totalling more than 18.6 Million, you can see how adding a NEW statutory holiday costs the country’s economy well into hundreds of millions of dollars each year!
But Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh … facing a federal election next year … apparently think a new holiday will be a great way to soften up the electorate … and buy votes … with other people’s money!!!
So the federal Liberals and NDP have announced a new national statutory “holiday” they plan to pass into law. All, it seems to me, reflecting a “To hell with the cost” attitude … since it’s not the Liberals or NDP parties that will pay for it.
Why should you care? After all, it’s another FREE paid day off!
Because let’s keep it real: No, it won’t be.
Put yourself in the place of any employer … especially those not encumbered or regulated by union or labour contracts.
Add ANOTHER paid holiday (doesn’t matter what the politicians say it commemorates) and what would you do if you were an employer?
For most, it’s impossible to simply make employees work faster or harder on other days to make up for lost production time; and raising prices in such a highly competitive marketplace could do more harm than good.
But anyone who believes companies will simply pay out for their entire staff … without ANY work being done …. another day’s full pay or time and a half or double time (on top of the 10 statutory holidays they already finance) , is dreaming.
I have no doubt companies forced to pay out for yet an ELEVENTH statutory holiday of work not done will try to reduce any planned wage increases to compensate for THEIR added costs.
In other words, once again workers will pay the cost for politicians’ folly and attempt to buy votes.
Too bad the media haven’t canvassed economists on the financial implications for businesses … especially small and medium-sized ones … and on the economy in general … plus the impact that Trudeau and Singh’s’ plan to buy votes with another PAID holiday could ultimately have on wage increases.
And someone (I’m retired!) should go after the Liberal and NDP leaders, the finance minister, the minister of labour … and every MP on the REAL cost of another “FREE” day off.
Letting them get away … unchallenged … with this latest costly vote-buying scheme is a shame that Canada’s workers will pay for in the end.
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