Canada COVID-19 Update: Paid Vaccination Leave and Provincial Travel Restrictions

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.

New Alberta Law Makes Sweeping Changes to Occupational Health and Safety Act, Amends Workers’ Compensation Act

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.

Ontario Entering Province-Wide Shutdown on December 26, 2020

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.

Ontario Government Passes Regulation to Create Flexibility in the Hospitality, Tourism and Trade Show Industries

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).

The ‘Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act’: Bill 32 Proposes Key Changes to Labour and Employment Legislation

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.

Canada’s Federal Government Expands COVID-19 Emergency Wage Subsidy Eligibility Criteria

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.

Delay the USMCA? Business Leaders Call for Postponing Implementation of the ‘New NAFTA’

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.

Canada’s Emergency Wage Subsidy Program: A $71 Billion Investment in Employers During the COVID-19 Crisis

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.

USMCA Review: A New Deal for Labour in the ‘New NAFTA’

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).

Canada Implements Significant Reforms to Basic Federal Employment Standards

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.

What Manufacturers Need to Know About Labor and Employment Law in Canada

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.

Highlights of the Alberta Employment Standards Code Update

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.

The Impact of Bill 132: Understanding and Applying Ontario’s Recent Sexual Harassment and Violence Legislation

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.

Protests Move North of the Border? Canadian Employers’ Responses to a National General Strike

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.