Canada: Federal Jurisdictional Summary

Last Updated: December 19 2014
Practice Guide by Blaney McMurtry LLP

All references are to the Canada Labour Code, RSC 1985 c L-2, Part III, unless noted otherwise.

HOURS OF WORK 8 hours per day max 169(1)(a)

40 hours weekly standard 169(1)(b), 48 hours weekly max: 171(1)

Ability to extend on agreement or with approval 170(1)
OVERTIME When an employee is required or permitted to work in excess of the standard hours of work, the employee shall, subject to any applicable regulations, be paid for the overtime at a rate of wages not less than one and one-half times his regular rate of wages 174
MINIMUM WAGE The fixed rate of the province where the employee is usually applied 178(1)
EMPLOYMENT OF CHILDREN Restricted employment of children under 17. Only in occupation specified by regulations, and subject to conditions fixed by regulations for that occupation: 179
HOLIDAY Day off with pay on each of the general holidays falling within period of employment: 192.

If a holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, employee must get them the workday before or after the holiday off with holiday pay. 193(2) Except if employed under a collective agreement entitling employees to at least 9 holidays with pay: 194.

If employee works on a general holiday, entitled to pay for the hours worked at regular wage plus one and a half times the regular wage: 197

If employee works in continuously operating business, and works on a holiday, employer must:
  1. pay the employee for wages plus one and a half times the regular rate of wages
  2. give a day off in lieu with pay.
  3. Pay in accordance with s.196 if a collective agreement exists and pay employee for the first day employee doesn't work following the holiday 198
VACATION 4% or 6% (if employed for six consecutive years or longer) of wages. 183

At least 2 weeks of vacation, and 3 weeks after six consecutive years and each year after that: 184.
EQUAL PAY Employers are prohibited discriminatory practices in sections 249-250, 252-255 and 264, per section 11 of the Canadian Human Rights Act.182(1)
LEAVES OF ABSENCE 4 weeks' notice to employer for leave of absence under section 206.1 or 206: 207

MATERNITY - 17 weeks without pay starting no earlier than 11 weeks before due date, and ending no later than 17 weeks after delivery date, if employed for at least 6 consecutive months by the same employer: 206(1). If child is hospitalized after birth, the period is extended by number of weeks in hospital, no longer than 52 weeks 206(2)(3).

If pregnant or nursing, employee can request job reassignment or modification from the beginning of pregnancy or nursing to end of 24th week following birth, if the reason for modification is the job may pose a risk to her health or that of the child's: 204, and is entitled to leave with pay until modifications or reassignment is complete, or has been informed that it is not reasonably practicable: 205(2).

PARENTAL - 37 weeks without pay, so long as employee has been employed for at least 6 months, and if an adoption based on laws governing adoption in resident province. 206.1(1). Begins later than 52 weeks from birth date or day the child comes into care and custody of employee: 206.1(2).

COMPASSIONATE LEAVE - up to 8 weeks to provide care or support to a seriously ill family member if a qualified physician provides a certificate stating that the family member has a serious medical condition with a significant risk of death occurring within a period of 26 weeks or shorter, and family member requires care or support of one or more family members: 206.1(1)(2).

CRITICALLY ILL CHILD CARE - Up to 37 weeks without pay, if employee has been employed for at least six months, to provide care or support to a critically ill child. Medical practitioner must provide certificate stating the child requires the care of one or more parents and setting out the period for which care is required 206.4(1).

CRIME RELATED CHILD DEATH OR DISAPPEARANCE - Up to 104 weeks without pay, if employed for at least 6 months, if a child of the employee dies and it is probable that the child died as the result of a crime 206.5(2). Up to 52 weeks without pay, if employed for at least 30 days, if a child of the employee disappears and it is probable that the child disappeared as a result of a crime (3) Does not apply in circumstances where the employee has been charged with the crime or probable that the child was party to the crime (4).

BEREAVEMENT LEAVE - up to 3 days without pay upon death of a family member: 210(1)
TERMINATION/SEVERANCE Notice of termination required or wage in lieu of notice. Notice period is at least two weeks if employed 3 months or more 230(1)

To terminate employment of 50 or more employees at once, or within a period not exceeding four weeks, must give copy of notice to the Minister 16 weeks before first employee terminated: 212(1). Copies of notice must be given to Minister of Employment and Social Development, Canada EI Commission and any trade union representative, or to employee or posted in conspicuous place (2).
EXEMPTIONS Certain classes of employees are exempt from the Hours of Work provisions or are subject to additional Hours of Work requirements, pursuant to the following regulations:

Banking Industry Commission-paid Salespeople Hours of Work Regulations, SOR/2006-92
Broadcasting Industry Commission Salesmen Hours of Work Regulations, SOR/79-430
East Coast and Great Lakes Shipping Employees Hours of Work Regulations, 1985, CRC, c 987
Motor Vehicle Operators Hours of Work Regulations, CRC, c 990
Railway Running-Trades Employees Hours of Work Regulations, CRC, c 991
West Coast Shipping Employees Hours of Work Regulations, CRC, c 992
This document is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. You should not act or rely on any information in this document without first seeking legal advice. This material is intended for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have any specific questions on any legal matter, you should consult a professional legal services provider.

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