Winter Employment Law Update: What You Need to Know About Recent Changes to the Canada Labour Code
In our Summer update, we highlighted several changes to the Canada Labour Code initiated by the federal government. This post will delve into the latest amendments that have been introduced over time.
Minimum Age for Employment
Effective June 12, 2023, the minimum age for employment has been raised from 17 to 18 years of age. However, exceptions apply for employment in specific settings such as an office, plant, transportation, communication or repair service, or non-hazardous construction work. Conditions for exceptions include:
- The employee is not required to be at school under provincial laws.
- The work is not hazardous to their health or safety.
- The work is not in a mine and does not concern nuclear energy.
- The employee does not work between 11 pm and 6 am.
Reimbursement of Work Related Expenses
Starting July 9, 2023, employers are obligated to reimburse employees for reasonable work-related expenses within 30 days of claim submission. Factors to consider in assessing the reasonableness of an expense include its necessity for the job, connection to health or safety standards, and legitimate work-related purpose.
Written Employment Statement
This requirement applies to both existing and newly hired employees. Statements for new hires must be provided within the first 30 days of employment, while existing employees should receive them as soon as possible. The statement must include:
- Name of employer and employee
- Job title and description of duties
- Address of place of work
- Start date
- Term of employment (fixed, indefinite, part-time, or full-time)
- Probationary period
- Required qualifications
- Required training (if any)
- Hours of work
- Rate of wages or salary, including overtime rate
- Frequency of pay periods
- Any mandatory deductions from wages
- Information on the reimbursement process for work expenses
These statements are mandatory even if there is already a written employment offer or agreement containing most of this information.
Disclosure of Employee Rights and Obligations
Employers are now required to provide employees with information regarding the rights and obligations of employers and employees under Part III of the Canada Labour Code. This information must be provided within 90 days after July 9, 2023, or the day the Ministry of Labour makes the materials available. New employees must receive a copy within 30 days of starting their employment, and ongoing updates are necessary when the material is updated by the Ministry.
Requirement to Provide Menstrual Products
Starting December 15, 2023, employers must provide menstrual products in each workplace washroom. Containers for product disposal must also be provided in each stall. If not feasible in washrooms, the products must be accessible in another location within the workplace, ensuring privacy.
Further Planned Changes
From February 1, 2024, the Code is amended to provide increased notice of termination of employment based on years of service. The notice required is as follows:
|Length of Service
|Length of Notice
|3 months – 2 years
Employees who are being terminated are also entitled to receive a written statement listing their vacation benefits, wages, severance pay and other benefits and pay arising from their employment. The requirement to provide employees with more than 12 months of service with severance pay under the Code remains unchanged. However, there are limitations on an employer’s ability to dismiss employees without cause. It is important to be aware of those in order to avoid an unjust dismissal complaint. If you wish to know more about those limitations, we can help.