The most comprehensive changes to the Manitoba Employment Standards Code in 30 years came into effect April 30, 2007. Highlights of the changes include:
- new criteria governing the exclusion of managers from hours of work and overtime provisions;
- exemptions from hours of work and overtime for employees who earn a minimum annual amount and exercise substantial control over their work schedule;
- three new unpaid days for illness or to attend to family responsibilities and three new unpaid bereavement days;
- improved statutory holiday pay provisions for part-time workers;
- new graduated termination notice rules based on employees’ years of service;
- guarantees that employees who report for work receive a minimum of three hours’ pay or pay for the regularly scheduled shift, whichever is less;
- new measures to promote compliance with the legislation, including fines for repeat offenders;
- streamlining the process for obtaining hours of work averaging permits and variances;
- new protections for children, including specific restrictions on hours of work for those under 16 years of age and prohibiting those under 18 from working alone at night;
- limits on the liability of company directors in cases of bankruptcy or closure;
- provisions to prevent deductions from pay where there is no direct benefit to the worker;
- improvements to overtime pay provisions for incentive-based workers;
- improved coverage for domestic workers and live-in nannies;
- prohibitions on employment of those under the age of 18 in higher-risk industries; and
- expansion of the definition of a family member to qualify for various statutory leaves, including compassionate care leave.
In addition, Manitoba’s minimum wage increased on April 1, 2007 by 40 cents to $8.00 an hour.
Employers in Manitoba will need to review their practices and procedures to ensure they comply with these new employment standards.