Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

 

Feb 13, 2018

Michelle BraniganBy Michelle Branigan

The start of 2018 brought with it a number of changes to Ontario’s labour laws. As well as the increase to the minimum wage (now $14 per hour), there are a slew of other changes that will impact employers and employees. Those who have worked with their employer for more than three years will see their annual vacation entitlement rise to three weeks from two. Casual, part-time, temporary and seasonal workers must receive equal pay for equal work. Other changes include:

• one week’s notice or pay in lieu of notice for employees of temporary help agencies if longer-term assignments end early
• fairer scheduling rules
• up to 10 individual days of leave and up to 15 weeks of leave without the fear of losing their job when a worker or their child has experienced or is threatened with domestic or sexual violence
• expanded personal emergency leave in all workplaces
• unpaid leave to take care of a critically ill family member

In Alberta, workplace law changes that took effect on January 1 include extended unpaid job protection for compassionate care leave, changes to how employees can bank their overtime hours, and a new unpaid leave for employees dealing with a domestic violence situation. A new long-term illness and injury leave will provide up to 16 weeks of job protection per year for long-term personal sickness or injury, while a new bereavement leave to provide up to three days of job protection per year for bereavement of an immediate family member. On Oct. 1, 2018, the general minimum wage will increase to $15 per hour, from $13.60 per hour.

Starting in 2018, New Brunswickers will get another paid holiday. Family Day will be observed in the province on the third Monday of every February.

Nationally, the federal government has extended parental leave — new mothers and fathers planning to begin their parental leave on or after December 3 will be able to spread 12 months worth of federal employment insurance over 18 months and stay home with their child longer.

New family caregiver benefits also kicks in on December 3, including a 15-week leave to care for a critically ill or injured adult, and a 35-week leave to care for a critically ill or injured child.

And of course at some stage this year (July 1 being the targetted date), recreational marijuana will become legal (Bill C-45, Cannabis Act). Companies need to have developed and implemented clear policies as to how marijuana should be used, tolerated or forbidden at work.

Regardless what province you are in, it is essential that you are aware of any new regulations and your policies are updated. The changes above are just a sample. Please visit your local provincial government website to learn more. This should be a priority or you risk breaking the law.

Useful resources

• Alberta — www.alberta.ca/employment-standards-changes.aspx
• British Columbia — www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/employment-standards-advice/employment-standards
• Manitoba — www.gov.mb.ca/labour/standards/doc,quick_guide,factsheet.html
• New Brunswick — www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/post-secondary_education_training_and_labour/People/content/EmploymentStandards.html
• North West Territories — www.ece.gov.nt.ca/en/services/employment-standards
• Nova Scotia — https://novascotia.ca/lae/employmentrights/
• Newfoundland and Labrador — www.aesl.gov.nl.ca/publications/labour/labour_relations_work.pdf
• Nunavut — http://nu-lsco.ca/
• Ontario — www.ontario.ca/page/plan-fair-workplaces-and-better-jobs-bill-148
• PEI — www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/topic/employment-standards-0
• Quebec — www.cnt.gouv.qc.ca/en/home1/index.html
• Saskatchewan — www.saskatchewan.ca/business/employment-standards
• Yukon — www.community.gov.yk.ca/es.html

Michelle Branigan is CEO, Electricity Human Resources Canada.

 

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