Remembrance Day, forgotten payday?

Thursday morning, many Canadian workers had the unpleasant surprise of not finding their pay in their bank account as usual.

Some of them complained about the situation all day long on social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

According to the information obtained by the Canadian Press from some financial institutions, some employers didn’t account for a notice stipulating that Wednesday, Remembrance Day, was a statutory holiday for financial institutions, simply because this day wasn’t a holiday for themselves.

While some workers received their pay early ─ Tuesday afternoon, others affirmed that their pay still had not been deposited in their bank account at the end of the day on Thursday.

Some workers pointed out they received their pay, but several hours late.

The Canadian Payroll Association was surprised of the situation since it did not receive a single call from its 20,000 members regarding the problem mentioned by workers from other organizations. The Association did, however, explain the complex reasons for these late payments reported across Canada.

“Our Association gives its members a list of statutory holidays and bank holiday closures, along with explanations on their importance, their impact and the procedures to follow to ensure employees are paid accurately and on time,” said Rachel De Grâce, Manager, Advocacy and Legislative content of the Association, which represents the interests of employers in the payroll sector.

The Association also pointed out that the different labour standards laws in Canada do not make it mandatory for an employer to pay an employee at exactly 12:01 Thursday morning, and that a delay may occur without legal repercussions.

“Nobody is really to blame. The problem that may have occurred this year is that Remembrance Day fell on a Wednesday and banks were closed, while many workers were scheduled to be paid the next day. It isn’t evident to employers that Remembrance Day is a holiday, especially in Quebec, where it is not a statutory holiday” Rachel De Grâce explained.

“We didn’t receive any calls on this subject, so we assume everything went relatively well,” indicated Danielle Savoie, spokesperson for the Canadian Union of Public Employees in New Brunswick.

The Government of New Brunswick, a major employer in the province, also seems to have avoided this pay deposit problem. By chance, many government employees, who are paid every two weeks, simply were not due to receive their pay this week.

Different financial institutions indicated on Thursday that pays that had not yet been deposited in workers’ bank accounts as usual should be deposited no later than midnight on Thursday.

Many bank deposits were not made during the night of Wednesday to Thursday because some employers were late in sending their statements to the financial institutions, which were closed on Remembrance Day.