September 19 Not a Statutory Holiday in BC, but Government Decision Leaves Businesses Confused

The BC Government announced that they will not make September 19 a statutory holiday for 2022. They have advised provincial public-sector employers to honour this day to recognize the passing of Canada’s Queen in recognition of the obligations around federal holidays in the vast majority of provincial collective agreements. K-12 public schools, public post-secondary institutions, and most Crown corporations will be closed. The BC Government encourages private-sector employers to find a way to recognize or reflect on the day in a way that is appropriate for their employees.

“The Surrey Board of Trade recognizes the incredible life of service by Queen Elizabeth II,” said Anita Huberman, President & CEO, Surrey Board of Trade. While we fully appreciate and support the need to recognize the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, making September 19 a statutory holiday would further stress an already fragile private sector; however, given that K-12 schools will already be closed, parents, which are a part of our workforce, will be left scrambling to find affordable and accessible childcare.”

“I am sure private sector employers will afford their staff the time to grieve. With each day being critical to a small business, who are already struggling with labour shortages and productivity, businesses will need to find a way to be empathetic and ensure business sustainability on what will be a difficult day for many British Columbians.