A collision between the Ontario government and unionized education workers escalated into one of the most significant moments in recent Canadian labour relations history.
On June 16, 2022, the government of Canada tabled a bill that would make significant changes to privacy laws impacting employers in the federal jurisdiction. The new legislation, the Digital Charter Implementation Act (Bill C-27) would replace Part 1 of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and would create three pieces of legislation in its place, the Consumer Privacy Protection Act (CPPA), the Personal Information and Data Protection Tribunal Act (PIDPTA), and the Artificial Intelligence and Data Act (AIDA).
On June 14, 2022, the Government of Canada announced that it would suspend vaccination requirements for domestic travelers, certain federally regulated workers, and federal public service employees, effective June 20, 2022. In support of this measure, the government has cited the successful vaccination campaign and low COVID-19 case counts.
On April 6, 2022, the British Columbia government introduced legislation that would change the union certification process under British Columbia’s Labour Relations Code.
On February 28, 2022, the Government of Ontario introduced Bill 88, the Working for Workers Act, 2022. Bill 88 would enact the Digital Platform Workers’ Rights Act, 2022, which would establish rights for workers who offer services through digital platforms. In addition, Bill 88 would amend a number of statutes including the Employment Standards Act, 2000.
As we ring in the new year, there are a number of legislative changes that will take effect, impacting workplaces across Canada. Below are the significant changes taking effect by January 1, 2022.
On December 7, 2021, the Government of Ontario extended the COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit and the temporary amendments to the Employment Standards Act, 2000, which provided for the infectious disease emergency leave (IDEL) provisions.
On October 25, 2021, the Government of Ontario introduced Bill 27, the Working for Workers Act, 2021. According to Ontario’s Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, Bill 27 would encourage employee work-life balance and promote competition within the province.
As more Canadians become eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, provinces across Canada are implementing paid COVID-19 vaccination leave policies to incentivize workers to become vaccinated as soon as possible. These leave policies are being put into place as COVID-19 cases across Canada soar and the country races to vaccinate faster than infections can spread.
Effective January 20, 2021, the Ontario government is increasing workplace inspections of retailers and other workplaces as part of a crackdown on compliance to ensure COVID-19 safety protocols are being followed and enforced.
On December 9, 2020, Alberta’s Bill 47, the Ensuring Safety and Cutting Red Tape Act, 2020, received Royal Assent. The legislation replaces Alberta’s current Occupational Health and Safety Act in its entirety, and makes significant amendments to the Alberta Workers’ Compensation Act.
On December 31, 2020, the Government of Canada announced new restrictions that will apply to all airline passengers entering Canada.
On December 21, 2020, the Ontario government announced province-wide shutdown measures, similar to those recently enacted by the governments of Alberta, Québec, and Manitoba. The government cited the “alarming rate” at which COVID-19 cases are increasing due to travel between public health regions that are subject to different levels of restriction, and the strain on the healthcare system as the driving forces behind the province-wide shutdown.
On December 17, 2020, the government of the Province of Ontario enacted Regulation 764/20, which will permit unions and employers in the hospitality, tourism, and trade show industries to negotiate for greater flexibility in the application of termination pay, severance, recall rights and other related matters under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA).
On July 7, 2020, the Government of Alberta proposed important changes for workplaces through Bill 32, the Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act, 2020 (Bill 32). The stated purpose of Bill 32 is to increase investment in Alberta’s workforce and to reduce the administrative burden for employers. On July 29, 2020, Bill 32 received Royal Assent.
The Beltway Buzz is a weekly update summarizing labor and employment news from inside the Beltway and clarifying how what’s happening in Washington, D.C. could impact your business.
On April 1, 2020, Canada’s Minister of Finance announced the federal government’s plans for a comprehensive wage subsidy program that would cover up to 75 percent of an employee’s regular wages for up to 3 months. As predicted, the proposed Emergency Wage Subsidy Program has undergone significant changes in the last week in order to extend benefits to a wider class of employers.
The United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) was signed by U.S. President Donald Trump, former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on November 30, 2018. The USMCA was designed to update and replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Canada was the last of the three signatories to ratify the deal.
On April 1, 2020, Canada’s Minister of Finance outlined the federal government’s plans for a comprehensive wage subsidy plan that, in total, would put as much as $71 Billion (CAD) back into the pockets of participating employers. The stated purpose of the plan is to maximize the ability of employers to maintain employment relationships with their employees during this difficult time.
The United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) is a free-trade pact that was agreed to by U.S. President Donald Trump, then-president of Mexico Enrique Peña Nieto, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on November 30, 2018. This agreement changes the current rules governing North American trade contained in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Canadian employers subject to federal regulation will want to take note of changes to the Canada Labour Code that came into force on September 1, 2019. These reforms apply to a large number of minimum employment standards with vacation, breaks, leaves of absences, and predictive scheduling impacted, among others. As a result of the far-reaching nature of the changes, they will have a significant impact on federally regulated workplaces.
In the manufacturing industry, a workplace drug and alcohol policy can be a key feature of an employer’s health and safety program. Many manufacturers rely on testing to detect and deter employee impairment that might otherwise lead to accidents and injuries.
Manufacturers in Canada face a labor and employment environment that is much more employee and union-friendly than the United States. That said, a sophisticated manufacturing employer that is educated, strategic, and proactive about managing its plant can find itself with a competitive business advantage. Here are just a few of the “Need to Knows” for manufacturers that are presently doing business or thinking about doing business in the Great White North.
The province of Alberta, Canada, enacted significant revisions to its Employment Standards Code effective January 1, 2018, overhauling its foundational employment laws for the first time in almost 30 years. Canadian employment law is generally provincial—and each province has its own core employment legislation with its own regulations governing matters such as overtime pay, job-protected leaves of absence, annual vacation, and termination requirements.
In recent years, a number of high-profile cases involving sexual violence and sexual harassment have grabbed the headlines and the public’s attention in Canada. The troubling case of Jian Ghomeshi—and the subsequent investigation at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)—brought this issue squarely into the workplace realm.
Although it is common for building and property managers to rely on third parties for on-site services, familiarity with the building services provisions of Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) is critical.
On February 17, 2017, activists opposing the new administration are planning a national general strike, including protests and work stoppages. In light of the growing support for the strike, U.S employers face questions concerning workers who skip work, given the National Labor Relations Act’s (NLRA) protections. For example, Section 7 of the NLRA gives employees the right to engage in concerted activities for the purpose of their “mutual aid or protection,” while Section 8 makes it unlawful for an employer to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of their Section 7 rights.