The Federal Government has just made a number of significant announcements regarding employee entitlements under Part III of the Canada Labour Code (the ''Code''):

  1. The Government announced the firm "coming into force" date for new labour standards that were included in recent legislation but not brought into force. It is now clear that the following new employee entitlements under Part III of the Code (among others) will come into force on September 1, 2019:
    • Right to request flexible work arrangements.
    • New or expanded leaves of absence, including: Personal Leave of up to 5 days (the first 3 days are paid); Leave for Traditional Aboriginal Practices of up to 5 days; Leave for Victims of Family Violence of up to 10 days (the first 5 days are paid); and expanded Bereavement Leave of up to 5 days (with 3 days paid).
    • Ability to modify work schedules and substitute general holidays.
    • Requirement to give an employee at least 96 hours' notice of her work schedule and at least 24 hours' notice of a shift change.
    • Allowing overtime to be compensated via paid time off.
    • Limited right to refuse overtime.
    • The ability to divide, interrupt, or postpone vacation.
  2. The Government made changes to the Canada Labour Standards Regulation (the ''Regulations'') in connection with the new employee entitlements under Part III described above. The Regulations impose new or modified requirements with respect to record keeping, information posting, the manner in which certain employee entitlements are calculated, and other technical changes. The Regulations will come into force on September 1, 2019.
  3. The Government announced a consultation process concerning further regulatory changes related to Part III of the Code - labour standards. These regulations will address the employee entitlements described above that are coming into force on September 1, 2019, as well as additional legislative changes that will come into force at a later date (such as changes to individual and group termination entitlements).

These initiatives are happening alongside separate legislative and regulatory processes related to the new federal Pay Equity Act, Accessible Canada Act, and new rules concerning harassment and workplace violence. All signs pointed to continued frenetic activity in the federal labour realm.