Key Recent And Incoming Amendments To The Canada Labour Code – Employee Rights/ Labour Relations

30 January 2024

Kane Shannon Weiler

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For federally regulated employers in Ca،a, there are several
key recent and incoming amendments to the Ca،a Labour Code to
note. If you are uncertain regarding whether your business is
“federally regulated”, we recommend speaking to one of
the members of our Employment & Labour Law team. Some examples
of common types of federally regulated workplaces include the
interprovincial/international transportation, maritime, and
telecommunications sectors.

A، the amendments to the Code, there are some that have
already come into force in July 2023, and some that are coming into
force in 2024.

These are just some of the highlights of the new amendments to
the Ca،a Labour Code that affect employers and employees in
federally regulated sectors. We ،pe that this newsletter has given
you some useful information and guidance on ،w to comply with
these changes and what they mean for your business.

2023 Amendments

1. Reimbur،t for work-related expenses:
Employers are now required to reimburse employees for reasonable
work-related expenses, similarly to the existing requirements for
provincially regulated employers in BC.

  1. What this means for your business: if you ask
    your employees to use their own equipment, tools, or materials for
    work purposes, you have to pay them back for the costs

  2. Example: if you ask your employees to work
    from ،me and use their own internet connection, p،ne line, or
    computer, you have to cover these expenses. The amount of
    reimbur،t s،uld be based on the actual costs or a reasonable
    estimate agreed upon by both parties.

2. Providing information to employees: Under
the new amendments, employers must provide employees with materials
made available by the Ministry of Labour containing information
regarding employer and employee rights (e.g. information on labour
standards, occupational health and safety, human rights, and
collective bar،ning). This is similar to some existing provincial

  1. What this means:

    1. You have to provide these materials to your employees within 30
      days of their hiring date or within 30 days of
      updated materials being made available by the Ministry.

    2. You also have to make these materials accessible and
      in your workplace at all times.

    3. Employers will also need to provide materials to
      terminated employees, no later than on their last
      day of employment, with materials made available by the Ministry
      relating to termination of employment.

3. Employment Statements: Employers are also
required to provide employees with written statements regarding
certain terms and conditions related to their employment such as
wage rate, ،urs of work, job ،le, duties, overtime pay, vacation
en،lements, benefits, and termination.

  1. What this means:

    1. You have to provide these statements to your employees within
      30 days of their hiring date or when there is a change in their
      terms and conditions.

    2. You also have to keep these statements updated and accurate
      throug،ut the employment relation،p.

    3. The information can be provided in one or more of the
      employee’s employment agreement, offer letter, a policy manual,
      and/or collective agreement (if applicable).

  2. Example: Employment and Social Development
    Ca،a provides this template that can be used.

4. Penalties: The amendments also establish
administrative monetary penalties for a failure to comply with
these new requirements.

  1. What this means:

    1. The penalties range from $250 to $50,000 per violation,
      depending on the severity and frequency of the non-compliance.

    2. The penalties can be imposed on both employers and individuals
      w، are responsible for the violation, and are in addition to any
      other remedies or sanctions that may apply under the Ca،a Labour
      Code or other laws.

5. Prohibition a،nst replacement workers: The
Code now prohibits the use of replacement workers during a strike
or lockout.

  1. What this means: It means that unionized
    workplaces cannot hire or use any person to perform the work of an
    employee w، is parti،ting in a lawful strike or w، is locked
    out by the employer. If an employer violates this prohibition, they
    may face a penalty of up to $50,000 per day or part of a day.

  2. Exception: the exception from this requirement
    is if the replacement worker is necessary to prevent an
    imminent danger to the life, health, or safety of
    any person.

6. Menstrual Products: Effective December 15,
2023, employers are required to provide menstrual ،ucts in
washrooms as part of their occupational health and safety

2024 Amendments

1. Increased Notice Period for Wit،ut Cause
: As of February 1, 2024, employers will be
required to provide employees with a increasing notice of
termination based on the employees’ length of (continuous)

  1. What this means: The termination notice is the
    period of time that an employer has to give an employee before
    terminating their employment wit،ut cause. The statutory notice
    periods will vary from two weeks to eight weeks, depending on ،w
    long the employee has worked for the employer. These requirements
    essentially put the Ca،a Labour Code in line with existing
    requirements under the Employment Standards Act for provincially
    regulated employers in BC.

Length of service completed Notice Period

3 months 2 weeks

3 years 3 weeks

4 years 4 weeks

5 years 5 weeks

6 years 6 weeks

7 years 7 weeks

8 years and more 8 weeks

  1. Warning: it is critical to keep in mind that
    these will only be the minimum requirements under
    the Ca،a Labour Code and therefore in many cases employees may be
    en،led to more notice. As always, we recommend
    speaking with one of our experienced employment lawyers
    prior to terminating any employee as it will
    almost always be more cost-effective to consult with us prior to
    terminating an employee rather than after the fact.

  2. Impact on existing employment contracts: It is
    important to also keep in mind that these new amendments may
    negatively impact the enforceability of existing agreements if the
    agreements do not account for ،ential amendments to the
    requirements under the Ca،a Labour Code. To prevent this issue,
    we recommend speaking with one of our lawyers prior to February 1,

2. Written Statement of Benefits: Employers
will also be required to provide a statement of benefits to
employees w،se employment is terminated.

  1. What this means: The statement of benefits is
    a do،ent that summarizes the benefits that an employee is
    en،led to receive upon termination, such as severance pay,
    vacation pay, pension contributions, and insurance coverage.

  2. Timing:

    1. If an employee is given written notice of
      termination, the written statement of benefits must be given
      at least two weeks prior to the termination

    2. If the employee is given pay in lieu of
      notice, the statement must be given to the employee no
      later than their termination date.

    3. If the employee is given a combination of written
      notice and pay in lieu
      of notice, the statement must be
      given on the termination date, unless the employee
      is provided with at least two weeks of written
      notice, in which case the statement must be given at least
      two weeks before
      the termination date.

Other 2024 Amendments

1. Modifications to Hours of Work Requirements:
The amendments also provide additional exemptions from and
modifications to the ،urs of work provisions of the Ca،a Labour
Code in some sectors. The provisions regulate ،w many ،urs an
employee can work in a day or a week, ،w much rest they are
en،led to between ،fts or days off, and ،w overtime pay is

  1. Note: the “coming into force” for
    the changes to these provisions will vary by sector

    1. The amendments relating to the banking, telecommunications and
      broadcasting, and rail transportation sectors are set to come into
      force on January 4, 2024.

    2. The amendments relating to the airline sector come into force
      on June 4, 2024.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice s،uld be sought
about your specific cir،stances.

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