Competitive issues have become very crucial, affecting labour-management relations through corporate downsizing, for example. Federal works and undertakings are subject to employment equity legislation, the purpose of which is to provide employme… Unions represent approximately 30% of the Canadian workforce. Rather, workers’ compensation is dealt with by way of statute and systems administered by government bodies or agencies. 3.4        Are there any defences to a discrimination claim? 1.1        What are the main sources of employment law? Workers’ compensation is not dealt with in Canada through private insurance. Federal works and undertakings are subject to employment equity legislation, the purpose of which is to provide employment and promotion opportunities to members of four protected groups: women, Aboriginal people, people with disabilities and visible minorities. Human rights commissions and/or tribunals are in charge of ensuring that employees are protected against unlawful harassment and discriminatory practices in the workplace. ... across a whole range of issues … Generally, a union must demonstrate that it has the support of a majority of employees in a proposed bargaining unit in order to be certified. In Québec, the EI premium rate is $1.25 for every $100 of salary earned, up to a maximum annual employee contribution of $663.75, and a maximum employer contribution of $929.25. A restrictive covenant of shorter duration is therefore more likely to be enforced. However, where there is a collective agreement or where the employment relationship is subject to privacy legislation, such monitoring is not usually allowed, except where the employer can establish that the employee has no or a limited expectation of privacy in relation to the information being monitored. Generally, restrictive covenants will be enforced by employers by way of a lawsuit seeking either an order restraining the former employee (and sometimes the new employer) from breaching the restrictive covenant, financial compensation for damages related to such a breach, or a combination of both. However, the federal government has jurisdiction over a number of industries such as banks, telecommunications, transport of merchandise and railways, as well as Aboriginal territories, amongst others. This is not applicable in Canada. theft or harassment) may allow for immediate dismissal for just cause. Any settlement reached in relation with a complaint concerning a dismissal must comply with minimum employment standards legislation. The maximum number of hours worked in a day and week, Notice and severance entitlements in the event of termination of the employment relationship. 3.3        Are there any special rules relating to sexual harassment (such as mandatory training requirements)? Some employers also elect to top these amounts up to match the employees’ regular wage, although this is not required. While reconsideration or internal appeals of administrative decisions can occur relatively quickly and within a few months, appeals and judicial review processes may take significantly longer. and unlock access to three FREE PDF downloads per month 1.4        Are any terms implied into contracts of employment? The Labour Relations Act applies to all employers, workers, trade unions and employers’ organisations. Employees also have the right to know the reasons for their dismissal where they are being dismissed for just cause. Maternity leave is an unpaid entitlement. Employees are entitled to various benefits such as overtime pay, public holiday pay, vacation entitlements and protected leaves of absence. Employment contracts do not have to be in writing to be valid, and they can take the form of an offer letter, a formal contract or even a verbal agreement. (2,100 retail employees) and Workers United Canada Council, Local 152 (SEIU) Dec 14, 2020 Calgary HGIHS (Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites) Collective agreements in force at the time of the sale therefore continue to govern all terms and conditions of employment, and bind the purchaser to the corresponding union. Courts will only enforce a non-competition clause if it: protects a legitimate proprietary interest of the employer; constitutes a reasonable restraint having regard to factors such as duration, geographic scope, and activities prohibited; is expressed in clear and certain terms; and is reasonable in terms of the public interest. Pre-employment checks are not illegal but are restricted in a number of jurisdictions. The legislation recognizes provincial responsibility for labour market training and allows for federal-provincial partnerships to create new programs to assist in this regard. 9.4        Is it possible to appeal against a first instance decision and if so how long do such appeals usually take? Once a union has been certified by a labour relations board as an agent for a specific “bargaining unit”, it has the exclusive right to negotiate with the employer on behalf of the employees, whether or not they are members of the union. Canada’s unions have a role to play in promoting fairness, equality and freedom from violence for all workers, regardless of age, race, religion, ability, sex, gender identity and gender expression, or sexuality. In the event of dispute, courts may be called upon to determine how much notice an employee is entitled to receive. Similarly, non-union employees in Québec, Nova Scotia and the federal sector cannot be dismissed without just cause where they have completed a number of years of service with the same employer. Termination without cause occurs where an employee is terminated from employment not necessarily because the employee has done something terribly wrong, but rather because the employer, for whatever reason, has decided that the employee’s services are no longer required. Employment law in Canada is governed both by statute and, in nine of the ten provinces, by common law. This is an important consideration if the purchaser intends to reduce the workforce or transfer employees, as there may be restrictions imposed within the collective agreement. Last week the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) ruled that the ballot box should be opened and the ballots counted. This right may also exist under a collective agreement. Liability for termination obligations relating to such terminations usually rests with the vendor, although some sale agreements provide otherwise. Higher standards are often customary in many industries in Canada, and lower standards are unenforceable. Under privacy legislation (and under the Civil Code of Québec), employees have the right to access their personal information in certain circumstances. These payments are funded by deduction at source. Where a mass termination occurs, employers have the obligation to notify the appropriate government official. 1.3        Do contracts of employment have to be in writing? After the recession, faced with increased use of back-to-work legislation and harder-bargaining, labour, in its weakest … 4.5        Are there any other parental leave rights that employers have to observe? Unionisation rates vary by province, with Québec having the highest rate at approximately 39%, and Alberta and Ontario having the lowest rates at approximately 25% and 26%, respectively. Social Issues in Canada. How are works council representatives chosen/appointed? 3.5        How do employees enforce their discrimination rights? Human rights claims can be settled as soon as an employer is made aware that such a claim is to be filed, or later during the process once it has been initiated. 6.5        When will an employer be entitled to dismiss for: 1) reasons related to the individual employee; or 2) business related reasons? However, fathers are also entitled to parental leave in all jurisdictions. Any monitoring of employees’ personal information must also be conducted through the least intrusive means possible, and only for reasonable and legitimate business purposes in order to be valid. If their claim is successful, employees will be awarded damages for the compensation they would have earned over the applicable notice period. This could be the case, for instance, when an employee insulted their employer in an online publication accessible to numerous people, or when an employee lies about their medical condition and posts a contradictory statement or picture online. Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who fought to overturn the 2016 referendum, has ordered his MPs to vote for the deal. Direct and indirect discrimination are prohibited under human rights legislation. How does a business sale affect collective agreements? 6.2        Can employers require employees to serve a period of “garden leave” during their notice period when the employee remains employed but does not have to attend for work? In any event, employees should be given an opportunity to provide the employer with their version of events before being disciplined or dismissed. One major difference between the two countries, however, is that there is no “employment at will” doctrine in Canada. 9.3        How long do employment-related complaints typically take to be decided? Mothers as well as adoptive parents are also entitled to this leave, which is in addition to the maternity leave entitlement. In some jurisdictions, this leave is dependent on the employee having accumulated a certain length of service with her employer. However, an employee will have to pay the applicable court filing fees when initiating a proceeding in the civil courts. ‘Enough is enough’: labour activists fed up with NS government Labour relations in Nova Scotia are at an all-time low according to the Federation of Labour. Employers have additional obligations when they dismiss a number of employees at the same time and therefore trigger a “mass termination”. If not, do employees have to be provided with specific information in writing? The QPIP replaces benefits that Québec residents previously received under the Employment Insurance Act. Maurice Mazerolle is director and professor at the Centre for Labour Management Relations, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University. Safety and health issues can lead to labour relations strife, producing work stoppages. Industry Experience Experienced labour relations professional with extensive knowledge in the law enforcement sector. The Labour Program promotes cooperation and fairness and provides expert advice and assistance on labour relations matters to workplaces within the federal jurisdiction. not related to a prohibited ground or as retaliation), except in circumstances where they have to prove just cause. Situations in which those minimums do not apply are limited to specific circumstances such as wilful misconduct or serious reason, or in the case of fixed-term contracts. Regardless of the reason, termination of employment must be made in compliance with any applicable employment standards legislation, contract of employment or collective agreement. Hebdon R., Stern, Robert (2003). To that intent, the Labour Program has developed numerous services, measures and initiatives to assist employers and employees in creating and maintaining a workplace … The employment insurance system is financed through payroll taxes levied on both employees and employers. Once a trade union acquires bargaining rights for a bargaining unit, the union becomes the sole recognised agent for that bargaining unit. Generally, the maximum duration of a non-competition clause is two years. In recent years, one of the most defining elements of the Canadian identity has been the country’s social policies — the collection of laws and regulations that govern how Canadians live their lives, and what sorts of individual rights the government is willing to protect and defend. The applicable employment standards legislation mandates the minimum notice period and provides a “sliding scale” of notice depending on the seniority of the employee, which typically peaks at 8 weeks’ notice. Garden leave will only be valid where it is set out in writing between the parties. 3.6        What remedies are available to employees in successful discrimination claims? In most jurisdictions, non-unionised employees can be dismissed in connection with an asset transfer, as they do not have a right to new employment with the purchaser. However, if the employee is approached with a restrictive covenant during the term of employment, additional consideration (which could take the form of financial compensation, but also of a promotion, for instance) must be given to the employee in exchange for the restrictive covenant. 6.4        Are there any categories of employees who enjoy special protection against dismissal? Employers pay premiums to provincial workers’ compensation boards at rates determined primarily on the basis of the type of industry, size of payroll and the employer’s claim record. Each Canadian jurisdiction has labour legislation which provides for the procedure by which a trade union may become recognised or certified as the exclusive bargaining agent for a group of employees, known as a bargaining unit. Harmonious labour-management relations are beneficial to both the economic security of individuals and the economic prosperity of Canada. Such preconditions include the attempt by the parties, in good faith, at collective bargaining, a support of the industrial action contemplated by a majority of the bargaining unit members, and the provision of advance notice of strike or picketing to the employer. 4.6        Are employees entitled to work flexibly if they have responsibility for caring for dependants? In most jurisdictions, a mass termination will occur where 50 or more employees are terminated within a four-week period. Alberta scores lower than US jurisdictions because of Journal of Industrial Relations, 50 (4), 545-559. In some jurisdictions, joint employer-employee health and safety committees are required for larger workplaces. In addition, many jurisdictions prohibit discrimination on the basis of family status, which may trigger the duty for employers to accommodate their employees if they have responsibility for caring for dependants, to the point of undue hardship of course. 8.5        Can an employer control an employee’s use of social media in or outside the workplace? As such, employees have an implied and legal duty of loyalty toward their employers, as well as a duty of good faith. As a result, female employees and, in some jurisdictions, employees in “female job classes” will have a right to be remunerated at the same level as the male employees or, as the case may be, employees in “male job classes” where the work performed is of similar, substantially similar or of equalvalue. International Labour Organization, 2000: "ILO principles concerning the right to strike" (64 pages, PDF) Rose, J.B. (2008). Log in In most jurisdictions, bargaining unit employees are also required to pay union dues even if they do not support the trade union in place. These employees account for approximately six per cent of all Canadian workers. 6.9        Does an employer have any additional obligations if it is dismissing a number of employees at the same time? As stated in question 6.1, employees who are dismissed on a “without cause” basis are entitled to reasonable notice of termination or pay in lieu, if the employer does not wish for the employee to complete his working notice period. Work-family issues have become more and more important with the accelerated workforce participation of married women. Discrimination claims may namely arise in situations surrounding hiring, promotions, conditions of employment and even discharge. 6.8        Can employers settle claims before or after they are initiated? In Canada, an employment relationship may legally be terminated in one of two typical ways: for cause or by way of providing reasonable notice or pay in lieu of notice to the other party. During the 1960s and 1970s Canada's labour force grew more rapidly than that of any other industrial country and was accompanied by and dependent upon an unusually high rate of capital investment, particularly by American corporations. Similarly, employment following an asset purchase is continued on the same terms and conditions for unionised employees. The unionisation rate in the public sector is also much higher than in the private sector, with a total of 76% in the former, compared to 16% in the latter. Generally, however, employers will not have to give notice or severance pay to employees being dismissed for serious reason or wilful misconduct. In some jurisdictions, employers also have to put in place a policy or code of conduct including protection for whistleblowers and in others, a recourse exists for employees who believe they have been disciplined, demoted or terminated because of whistleblowing which allows them to seek reinstatement. In some jurisdictions, for first collective agreements, there is a system of binding arbitration available to resolve disputes in a cost-effective and timely manner. Maternity or pregnancy … All jurisdictions in Canada (federal, provincial and territorial) have passed human rights legislation prohibiting discrimination in the employment relationship based on grounds that usually include race, sex, age, religion, colour, disability, marital or family status, ancestry or place of origin and sexual orientation. Private sector employees are covered by the Canada Labour Code and the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB). According to Canada’s Constitution Act, labour and employment is most often a matter of provincial jurisdiction, and each province has its own employment standards and legislation. In some jurisdictions such as Ontario and the federal sector, certain employees will be entitled to severance pay in addition to termination notice or pay in lieu. Each jurisdiction has its own rules respecting the certification process. 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