This year, Remembrance Day falls on Monday, Nov 11. If you are a small business owner, what does this day mean for your business?
In Manitoba, only certain businesses can operate on this day. Restaurants, gas stations, medical services can all be open. However, businesses revolving around commerce have limitations. If you are a retailer, you are unable to sell your products until 1:00 pm on that day. So, your business can be open at 1:00, but not earlier. However, you will have to pay your working staff at time and a half. In addition, for those staff working, holiday pay is also required and therefore is treated the same as any other long weekend holiday within Manitoba.
Do you operate within a service industry? By law, your business has to remain closed for the day, unless your business is specifically exempted. To view a listing of the industries still able to operate on this day, check out the Manitoba Employment Standards Fact Sheet. Here, you can get more information on the rules of operation on Remembrance Day for your specific business.
It is important to note that based upon the Manitoba Labour Laws, Remembrance Day is NOT an official holiday in Manitoba. As a result, employers do not really have to pay their employees for this day if their business remains closed. This would be applicable to small businesses not in the retail or restaurant businesses. Note that most employers do pay employees for this day off even though legally, they do not have to. To prevent disgruntled employees, you may want to think twice if you decide otherwise.
As a business owner, regardless of what you decide for Remembrance Day, please don’t lose sight of what this day really means for Canadians. The freedoms we take for granted each and every day are exchanged for the lives of many Canadians who have been denied of the chance to grow old. Hopefully, we will all ‘remember’ to thank them in our own way.