Canada: Revised Labour Standards For Federal Employers

Last Updated: February 28 2019
Article by Jessica R.W. Bungay and Michèle Brown-Gellert

On December 13, 2018, the federal government gave royal assent to a bill that promised substantial changes to the employment standards for federal employers. The changes themselves have not yet been implemented, however, this is expected in 2019 and will be subject to staggered implementation dates.

Overview of Key Changes

There are a number of the important changes affecting federally regulated workplaces:

  1. Pay Equity Act

The Pay Equity Act ("PEA") strives to eliminate the discrepancies of pay between genders where the work provided is of equal value. The PEA is not yet in force and the implementation date has yet to be determined. The obligations of employers will differ depending on whether the workplace is unionized or non-unionized and on the number of employees.

Employers who are subject to the PEA will be required to establish a pay equity plan within three years of the PEA coming into force. In addition, the PEA will require unionized employers with 10 or more employees as well as non-unionized employers with 100 or more employees to establish a pay equity committee.

A Pay Equity Commissioner (the "Commissioner") will be appointed to monitor and ensure compliance with the PEA. Employers will be required to submit annual reports in relation to their pay equity plan to the Commissioner.

The PEA also establishes a dispute resolution mechanism. Disputes will be filed with the Commissioner. Disputes which cannot be resolved under the dispute resolution mechanism may be dismissed by the Commissioner or referred to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal for determination. In addition, the Canadian Human Rights Act will be amended to include the Commissioner as a member of the Commission. In addition, the Canadian Human Rights Commission will create a Pay Equity Division to adjudicate complaints of gender pay inequity.

  1. Canada Labour Code

Rest Periods and Break Requirements

Effective September 1, 2019, employers will be required to give employees a minimum of 8 consecutive hours of rest between shifts, along with a 30 minute unpaid break for every 5 consecutive hours of work. Paid breaks will be mandatory where employees are required to be available during the breaks. Employees will also be entitled to any necessary unpaid breaks for medical reasons or where employees are nursing.

Scheduling of Shifts

Effective September 1, 2019, employers will be required to provide employees with a minimum of 96 hours' written notice before implementing a work schedule. Where less than 96 hours' written notice will be provided, employees will be entitled to refuse to work the shift. The provision would not apply in the case of an emergency, if a collective agreement provides an alternate timeframe, or if the changes were requested by the employee.

Expanded Leaves of Absence

There will no longer be a requirement of minimum service to qualify for maternity leave, parental leave, leave related to critical illness and leave related to death or disappearance of a child. In addition, there will be four new leaves of absence:

  1. Medical Leave

Effective September 1, 2019, the previous sick leave will be replaced with a new medical leave. The length of the medical leave will be up to a maximum of 17 weeks. Employees will be required to provide supporting documentation from a "health care practitioner" as opposed to the previous requirement of supporting documentation from "qualified medical practitioner".

  1. Personal Responsibility Leave

Employees will be entitled to take up to 5 days for reasons related to illness, injury, family responsibility, urgent matters, citizenship and education of any family member under 18 years of age. For employees with 3 months of continuous service, the first 3 days of leave will be paid. No date has been set for when this leave will take effect.

  1. Victims of Family Violence Leave

Employees will be entitled to paid leave for up to 5 days for reasons related to family violence. No date has been set for when this leave will take effect.

  1. Court/Jury Leave

Effective, September 1, 2019, employees will be entitled to an unpaid leave of absence to attend court to act as a juror, participate in the jury selection process or to appear as a witness. There will be no restriction to the length or frequency of court/jury leave.

Vacation and Holiday Pay

Effective September 1, 2019, the length of service requirement for general holiday pay will be eliminated.

Additionally, employees will be entitled to vacation time and vacation pay as follows:

  • two weeks' of vacation after 1 year of continuous employment (4% vacation pay);
  • three weeks' of vacation after 5 consecutive years of employment (6% vacation pay); and
  • four weeks' of vacation after 10 consecutive years of employment (8% vacation pay).

Termination of Employment

  1. Group Terminations

In addition to the existing requirement of 16 weeks' notice to the Minister of Labour of a group termination, employers will also be required to provide at least 8 weeks' notice, or pay in lieu, to all "redundant employees" who are dismissed as part of a group termination. No date has been set for when this change will take effect.

  1. Individual Terminations

Employees who are dismissed will be entitled to one week of notice for each year of continuous employment, up to a maximum of 8 weeks' of notice. However, employees with 3 months to 36 months of continuous service will only be entitled to 2 weeks' notice. No date has been set for when this change will take effect.

Temporary Help Agencies/Restrictions

Temporary help agencies will be prohibited from paying employees less than what the employer pays its own employees performing identical work. No date has been set for when this change will take effect.

Equal Pay for Equal Work

Employers will be prohibited from paying an employee differently for performing the same work on the basis of "employment status". No employee, including part-time, contract or seasonal, can be paid less than what is paid to full-time employees who perform the same job, unless the employer demonstrates objective reasons to justify a differential wage rate, for example, seniority or merit. No date has been set for when this change will take effect.

Additional Changes to the Canada Labour Code

Other changes include:

  • The minimum age of employment is set to be raised from 17 to 18 years of age. No date has been set for when this change will take effect.
  • Employers will be required to reimburse employees for reasonable work-related expenses. This change will be subject to collective agreement provisions. No date has been set for when this change will take effect.
  • Within an employee's first 30 days of employment, employers will need to provide a statement of benefits outlining the benefits to which the employee is entitled to under the Canada Labour Code, including but not limited to, vacation benefits, wages and severance pay. There will also be an ongoing obligation on employers to keep this information up-to-date and to provide employees with updated copies where necessary. No date has been set for when this change will take effect.
  1. Employment Insurance Act

A new five-week Employment Insurance (EI) Parental Sharing Benefit will be available as a "use it or lose it" benefit top-up when both parents agree to share parental leave. The new benefit will be available to eligible two-parent families, including adoptive and same-sex couples. This change will only apply to employees who have given birth to or adopted a child after March 17, 2019.

  1. Wage Earner Protection Program Act

The definition of "eligible wages" will be expanded to include wages earned during the six month period before the date of filing of a notice of intention to make a proposal under the Business Insolvency Act. Additionally, the maximum payment of eligible wages will be increased to seven weeks of insurable earnings under the Employment Insurance Act. No date has been set for when this change will take effect.

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.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Jessica R.W. Bungay
Michèle Brown-Gellert
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions