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2019 Canadian Labor Law Update
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The year 2018 saw sweeping legislative changes to the employment and labour laws in several Canadian jurisdictions. In most provinces, these changes bolstered the minimum standards to which an employee is entitled and further restricted an employer’s ability to operate its business. All these legislative changes – and proposed changes – will be discussed in a webinar led by John Mortimer, John Moulding and Michael Sherrard.

4/18/2019
When: Thursday, April 18, 2019
3:00 -4:00 PM ET
Where: CUE Webinar
United States
Contact: MIchael VanDervort
1-210-545-3499 x2


Online registration is closed.
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The year 2018 saw sweeping legislative changes to the employment and labour laws in several Canadian jurisdictions.  In most provinces, these changes bolstered the minimum standards to which an employee is entitled and further restricted an employer’s ability to operate its business.

In Ontario, the Conservative Government passed Bill 47, in large part returning Ontario’s employment laws to their near pre-Bill 148 status.  This includes the repeal of several scheduling restrictions, stopping the increase of minimum wage to $15 per hour, and converting the ten personal emergency leave days (two of which were paid) into separate unpaid days off for sick leave, family responsibility leave, and bereavement leave.  Ontario’s labour laws were similarly rolled back, including removing card-based certification for certain industries, stopping union access to certain employee information, and reducing access of first contract arbitration.  Significant changes were also made to the province’s apprenticeship system, and it appears the College of Trades will be wound down.

In Quebec, Bill 176 was enacted in June 2018, with the stated purpose of facilitating work-life balance.  Amendments include two paid days off to meet childcare obligations, and an enhanced ability for an employee to refuse overtime hours and unscheduled shifts without five days’ notice.

While legislative changes were not enacted in British Columbia, many have been proposed and could be on the horizon.  An independent review of that province’s Labour Relations Code was undertaken by the NDP Government.  The review recommended changes to make it easier for a union to organize a workplace.  This includes shortening the time period between a union’s filing of an application for certification and the secret ballot vote, extending the time during which a union membership card will be considered valid, and expanding the circumstances under which the Labour Board can order remedial certification when an employer commits an unfair labour practice.  In addition, the British Columbia Law Institute released a report recommending 71 changes to the Employment Standards Act, many of which look like the employee-focused changes enacted in Ontario under Bill 148.

In Alberta, the NDP’s Bill 17 took effect in January 2018.  It provided employees with a greater entitlement to overtime lieu days, public holiday pay and unpaid job-protected leaves (including maternity and parental leave).  However, the principle impact of Bill 17 is felt on the labour side, where unions have been given access to card-based certification and first contract arbitration.

Changes in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick have been less impactful and are limited primarily to expanded access to an increased number of unpaid leaves (including maternity, parental and domestic violence leave).  Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador experienced similar changes.  However, in these provinces domestic violence leave entitlements also include three paid days off per year.

Federally, significant changes were enacted by the Liberal Government, further expanding the Canada Labour Code’s already robust employee minimum standards and employer restrictions.  This includes an employee’s ability to refuse unscheduled work without advanced notice, increased vacation entitlement for long service employees, increased access to paid and unpaid leaves, and increased entitlements on termination.  

All these legislative changes – and proposed changes – will be discussed in a webinar led by John Mortimer, John Moulding and Michael Sherrard. 

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