Effective February 1, 2022, new regulations made under the Canada Labour Code (the "Code") will exempt specific classes of federally regulated employees, including some transport drivers, from certain Code  provisions concerning hours of work and scheduling. These exemptions form part of the  Exemptions from and Modifications to Hours of Work Provisions Regulations SOR/2021-200 (the "Regulations").

In 2019, several provisions were added to Part III of the Code  with the aim of providing employees with greater predictability around hours of work and shift scheduling. As discussed in our  August 28, 2019 communique, when these amendments were made, transportation employers expressed concern that the scheduling rules threatened the efficiency, reliability and financial viability of the transportation and logistics services upon which Canadian businesses and consumers depend. The new Regulations appear to be a response to those concerns.

Once in force, the Regulations will exempt certain employees from some of those hours of work and scheduling rules. In particular, the following sections of the Code will be impacted by the new exemptions and modifications:

  • s. 173.01: Employers shall provide employees with their work schedule in writing at least 96 hours before the start of the employee's first work period or shift under that schedule, and, subject to some exceptions, an employee may refuse to work any work period or shift in their schedule that starts within 96 hours from the time that the schedule is provided to them.
  • s. 173.1: Employers must provide employees with at least 24 hours' written notice of a shift change or addition.
  • s. 169.2:  Every employee is entitled to and shall be granted a rest period of at least 8 consecutive hours between work periods or shifts.
  • s. 169.1:  Every employee is entitled to and shall be granted an unpaid break of at least 30 minutes during every period of five consecutive hours of work. If the employer requires the employee to be at their disposal during the break period, the employee must be paid for the break.

Exemptions to Hours of Work and Scheduling Provisions by Employee Class

Please click here to access a  summary of the regulatory exemptions from and modifications to the hours of work provisions that will apply to specific classes of employees in the transportation industry.

Also, as of February 1, 2022, the  Interpretation, Policies and Guidelines (IPG) 101 will no longer apply to the road transportation, postal and courier, marine, and grain sectors. The IPG-101 provided that employers of employees of particular job classes "may carry on business as usual" with respect to one or several of the new provisions until the introduction of the Regulations.

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.