Answer ... There is no national minimum wage in Canada. In Canada, the provinces and territories are responsible for setting their own statutory minimum wages. For federally regulated employees, they are to be paid the minimum wage of the province or territory in which they are usually employed. Notwithstanding the statutory minimum wage, employees may be provided with a greater right or benefit under their respective employment contracts or under a collective agreement.
Answer ... Employees are entitled to be paid for overtime in all Canadian jurisdictions. This means that an employer is responsible for paying employees overtime pay for all hours worked beyond their standard working day or standard working week, as defined by the applicable employment standards legislation.
While overtime tends to be calculated at 1.5 times the regular hourly rate of pay, some jurisdictions calculate the overtime rate based on the minimum wage. A number of jurisdictions allow for the granting of time off in lieu of overtime pay.
Moreover, some jurisdictions provide for limits on the total number of hours that employees may work or be required to work. These limits are inclusive of overtime.
Answer ... Employees who are covered by employment standards legislation are entitled to paid annual leave (‘vacation’). The amount of vacation days varies by province. However, employment contracts or collective agreements may, and often do, provide for a greater right or benefit than what is statutorily required. Thus, many employees will receive more than what the minimum standards provide.
Employers must allow employees to take their vacation within a certain period after the year in which it was earned. It is not generally permissible for employees to carry over their vacation entitlement beyond the time limits provided for in their jurisdiction. Generally, the timing of an employee’s vacation is at the employer’s discretion. As a result, many jurisdictions require employers to give employees minimum notice of their vacation dates.
Further, each jurisdiction has rules on the calculation of employees’ holiday pay. The amount of holiday pay is determined as a proportion of an employee’s total wages during the year in which the entitlement to vacation was acquired.
Answer ... All Canadian jurisdictions provide employees with an entitlement to sick leave. In some jurisdictions, some or all of the sick leave days that an employee is entitled to take will be paid. Moreover, while the number of days varies by jurisdiction, employment contracts, collective agreements and supplemental health insurance benefits may provide for a greater right or benefit than what is statutorily required. Thus, many employees are entitled to more sick days than what the minimum standards provide.
Answer ... There is no statutory retirement age in Canada and human rights tribunals have found mandatory retirement to be discriminatory. Both federal and provincial human rights codes protect Canadians from age discrimination. Some Canadian jurisdictions provide for an exception where the retirement age can be justified as bona fide in the circumstances of a particular job. For example, under Ontario’s Human Rights Code, an employee’s right to equal treatment with respect to employment is not infringed if the age of the applicant is a reasonable and bona fide qualification because of the nature of the employment, as might be the case in respect of physically demanding jobs. Moreover, in New Brunswick, an employee that reaches a certain age may be obligated to retire if this is stipulated in a bona fide pension plan.