The federal government recently made numerous significant announcements regarding employee entitlements under Part III of the Canada Labour Code.
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 1 September 2019:
- the right to request flexible work arrangements;
- new or expanded leaves of absence, including:
- personal leave of up to five days (the first three days will be paid);
- leave for traditional aboriginal practices of up to five days;
- leave for victims of family violence of up to 10 days (the first five days will be paid); and
- expanded bereavement leave of up to five days (with three days paid);
- the ability to modify work schedules and substitute general holidays;
- the requirement to give an employee at least 96 hours' notice of their work schedule and at least 24 hours' notice of a shift change;
- allowing overtime to be compensated via paid time off;
- the limited right to refuse overtime; and
- the ability to divide, interrupt or postpone holiday.
The government also made changes to the Canada Labour Standards Regulation in connection with the new employee entitlements under Part III. The regulations impose new or modified requirements with respect to:
- record keeping;
- information posting;
- the calculation of certain employee entitlements; and
- other technical changes.
The regulations will come into force on 1 September 2019.
Finally, the government announced a consultation process concerning further regulatory changes relating to Part III of the code. These regulations will address the employee entitlements described above and additional legislative changes that will come into force at a later date (eg, changes to individual and group termination entitlements).
These initiatives are happening alongside separate legislative and regulatory processes relating to the new federal Pay Equity Act, the Accessible Canada Act and the new rules concerning harassment and workplace violence. All signs point to continued frenetic activity in the federal labour realm.
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