On June 19, 2015, the Federal Government enacted the Policy Committees, Work Place Committees and
Health and Safety Representatives Regulations. These
Regulations impose new obligations on federally regulated
businesses in respect of their health and safety committees or
representative. The Regulations ensure that federally regulated
workplaces are required to meet a similar standard to their
provincial counterparts, which are subject to similar standards
under provincial legislation. Some of the businesses affected by
these regulations include those dealing in interprovincial
trucking, railways, air transportation, marine shipping,
telecommunications, banking, and First Nation businesses.
While such businesses are already required under the Canada Labour Code to have a Policy Committee,
Work Place Committee or Safety Representative, the new Regulations
impose further obligations on employers. In particular, the new
requirements focus on composition of such committees and training
for their members and include:
Members of a committee representing the employer must exercise
managerial functions (s. 4);
Committee members must established chairperson responsibilities
which must include certain mandatory responsibilities (s. 5);
Vacancies on a committee must be filed within 60 days in the
case of a Policy Committee and within 30 days in the case of a Work
Place Committee (s. 6);
Quorum for committee meetings is a majority of members with at
least half being employee representatives and at least one being an
employer representative (s. 7);
As soon as possible after a committee meeting, minutes of the
meeting must be provided to both chairpersons for approval, then
provided to the employer and each member, then provided to any
other relevant committees and made readily available to employees
for a period of one month (s. 8);
Employers must keep a copy of all committee meeting minutes at
the employer's head office for at least two years (s. 8);
Prior to March 1, the employer Chairperson of a Work Place
Committee must submit to the Minister an annual report of the
committee's activities (s. 9).
Similar obligations dealing with the selection, term and vacancy
of a Health and Safety Representatives are included in the
Regulations (ss. 10-13).
In regards to training, employers must, in consultation with the
committee or representatives affected, develop adequate health and
safety training for all committee members and representatives.
Training must include (1) a review of the Canada Labour Code and
the regulations, (2) the means that allow committee members and
representatives to fulfill their duties under the legislation, (3)
the rules and procedures of each committee, and (4) the principles
of consensus building regarding health and safety issues. Employers
must review and update their health and safety training programs as
necessary and at least once every three years, (s.14).
In light of these Regulations, employers who are federally
regulated should familiarize themselves with the new regulatory
requirements and make any necessary changes to ensure compliance.
Lawson Lundell is happy to provide your business with a more in
depth review of the Regulations and its implications for your
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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