The Budget Implementation Act 2018, No. 2 (BIA 2018, No.2) made numerous changes to the Canada Labour Code (CLC). As a result of these changes, federally regulated employers will be required to reimburse employees for reasonable work-related expenses under the ‘Reimbursement of Work-Related Expenses” amendment. Additionally, employers will be required to provide employees with a written employment statement—containing information related to their employment, within a specific time frame. Both of these new amendments come into effect on July 9, 2023. Lastly, on December 15, 2023, federal employers will be required to make certain menstrual products available in certain circumstances.
Reimbursement of Work-Related Expenses
As a result of the changes to the law, subject to certain exceptions, employers will be obligated to reimburse employees for reasonable work-related expenses. In the absence of an agreement specifying an alternative time limit, employers will have 30 days from the date an employee submits a claim to compensate the employee. The changes require employers to evaluate the work relatedness of an expense and the reasonableness of an expense. Different rules may apply for unionized workplaces.
Written Employment Statement
The amended Canada Labour Code requires employers to provide employees with a written employment statement within 90 days of July 9, 2023. Additionally, employers must provide new employees with a written employment statement within the first 30 days of employment. Employers are required by the law to keep a copy of any employment statement for 36 months once an employee’s employment ends. Employers also must provide employees with a revised employment statement within 30 days of any changes to the information initially provided.
The employment statement must include the following information:
- the names of the parties to the employment relationship;
- the job title and a brief description of the duties and responsibilities;
- the place of work and address;
- the date employment begins;
- the term of employment;
- the probationary period, if any;
- a description of the necessary qualifications for the position;
- a description of any required training for the position;
- the hours of work for the employee—including how it is calculated and overtime rules;
- the rate of wages or salary—including overtime rates;
- the frequency of payments;
- any mandatory deductions from wages; and
- information on the reimbursement process for reasonable work-related expenses.
Many of the required pieces of information will likely overlap with the contents of offer letters and employment agreements. The law requires employers to ensure that the employment statement provided to employees includes the additional content imposed by this regulation—which may not generally be included in employment agreements, such as the reimbursement of work-related expenses.
Disclosure of Employee Rights and Obligations
In addition to a written employment statement, the law requires federally regulated employers to provide employees with information regarding the rights and obligations of employers and employees under Part III of the CLC. The law requires employers to provide employees with these materials within ninety days after the later of (i) July 9, 2023, and (ii) the day on which the Ministry of Labour makes the materials available.
The amendments require employers to provide new employees with a copy of these materials within 30 days of starting their employment. Employers must ensure that employees receive copies of the most recent materials made available by the ministry and ensure the materials are posted and accessible. Employers are required under the law to provide discharged employees with a copy of the most recent materials related to the termination of an employee on or before the employee’s last day on the job.
Any breach of these new obligations may result in penalties ranging from $200 to $2,000 depending on the size of the employer.
Menstrual Product Provision
On December 15, 2023, the Regulations Amending Certain Regulations Made Under the Canada Labour Code (Menstrual Products) will go into effect. As a result, federally regulated employers will be required to provide menstrual products, including clean and hygienic tampons and menstrual pads, in each toilet room. The law also requires employers to provide a covered container for the disposal of menstrual products in each toilet compartment. In workplaces where it may not be feasible to provide sanitary products in a toilet room, the employer must provide them in another location within the same workplace. The sanitary products must be accessible to employees at all times and must offer a reasonable amount of privacy.
The Toronto and Montréal offices of Ogletree Deakins will continue to monitor these and other changes as they develop and will post updates on the Cross-Border blog as additional information becomes available. Important information for employers is also available via the firm’s webinar and podcast programs.
Christina Kaszap is a law student, currently participating in the summer associate program in the Toronto office of Ogletree Deakins.