Federally regulated employers should be aware of changes to the
Canada Labour Code ("the
Code") effective April 1, 2014, namely subsections 219
and 223-231 of the Jobs and Growth Act, 2012, chapter 31
of the Statutes of Canada (also referred to as Bill C-45). The
changes are briefly reviewed as follows.
New Complaint, Payment Orders, and Vacation Pay Time Lines
As of April 1, 2014 there will be time limits for making
complaints of unpaid wages or other allegations of violations under
Part III of the Code:
Time limits for these complaints will be limited to six months
from the day the employer was required to pay wages or other
amounts. Any other complaints must be made within six
months from the day the subject matter of the complaint
Payment orders will cover wages, or other amounts, owing for a
period of 12 months starting on the day the complaint was made or
the 12 months before the date of termination.
Vacation pay will extend to 24 months from the
date of termination or the date of the complaint, whichever is
Administrative Review Mechanism
The April 1, 2014 changes implement an administrative review
process for inspector's payment orders or notice of unfounded
An employee who is notified that his or her unjust dismissal
has been rejected can, within 15 days after the day notified,
request in writing, with reasons, that the Minister review the
inspector's decision. The Minister may confirm, rescind or
direct an inspector to deal with the complaint.
A person affected by a payment order or notice of unfounded
complaint may, within 15 days after the day on which the order,
copy of the order, or notice is served, send a written request with
reasons for a review of the decision by the Minister. The Minister
may confirm, rescind or vary the payment order or notice of
unfounded complaint and, if rescinded, the Minister will direct an
inspector to re-examine the complaint.
In the case of an employer or a director of a corporation, a
review is not permitted unless the amount of the payment order,
subject to in the case of a director, the maximum amount of the
director's liability is paid to the Minister.
What this means for federally regulated employers
The new changes will limit what is recoverable to an employee to
a defined period of time. These changes are intended to streamline
the process. The new time limitations should simplify responding to
a complaint, by limiting it to a defined period for the first time.
Also it eliminates the possibility for an order which goes back
several years to when the employee was first hired. Overall the
changes should bring greater efficiency to the process and serve to
limit employer risk when facing a complaint.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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