Government releases report of the Expert Panel on Modern Federal Labour Standards

News release

December 19, 2019              Gatineau, Quebec              Employment and Social Development Canada

The Government of Canada is taking action to ensure that federal labour standards are robust and modern in the changing world of work and that they protect employees and support productive workplaces. The Government has made important changes to the Canada Labour Code (the Code), but the work to modernize federal labour standards is not done.

Earlier this year, the Government established the independent Expert Panel on Modern Federal Labour Standards to study, consult and provide advice on five complex issues related to the changing nature of work. Today, the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Labour, released the Panel’s report, which contains 39 recommendations.

The five issues studied by the Panel are: federal minimum wage; labour standards protections for non-standard workers; the “right to disconnect” outside of work hours; access and portability of benefits; and collective voice for non-unionized workers.

The Panel spent four months conducting research, engaging employers and employer organizations, unions and labour organizations, civil society groups, experts and individual workers, and developing its advice and writing its report. The Panel operated at arm’s-length from the Government to ensure it provided independent, evidence-based advice.

The Government will consider the findings of the Expert Panel as it determines how best to move forward on these commitments.


“I would like to thank the seven members of the Expert Panel for their advice and recommendations and for contributing their time and expertise to ensuring federal labour standards reflect modern realities. As we move forward on additional changes to make Canada an even better place to work, help make life less stressful and give people more time to do the things they love, we’ll consider the excellent work done by the Panel.

– The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Labour

It was a pleasure working with the other members of the Panel on these important issues that matter for workers and employers across the federally regulated private sector. We encourage the Minister to consider the analysis and recommendations set out in our report as an important next step in ensuring that federal labour standards  are aligned with the realities of Canada's economy and society in the 21st century.”

– Sunil Johal, Chair of the Expert Panel on Modernizing Federal Labour Standards

Quick facts

  • The Expert Panel, launched in February 2019, was chaired by Sunil Johal. The other Panel members were Richard Dixon, Mary Gellatly, Dalia Gesualdi-Fecteau, Kathryn A. Raymond, Q.C., W. Craig Riddell and Rosa B. Walker.

  • Federal labour standards are set out in Part III of the Code. They establish the basic rights (e.g. hours of work, wages, leaves and holidays) of employees in federally regulated private‑sector industries, such as banking, telecommunications, and interprovincial and international transportation, as well as federal Crown corporations and some governance activities on First Nation reserves. They also help create a level playing field for employers by requiring them to meet these standards.

  • Important changes to the Code and the Canada Labour Standards Regulations have recently been made to provide flexible work arrangements, new leaves, and strengthen labour standards protections in workplaces in the federally regulated private sector. Some of these amendments and the related regulatory changes have already come into force.

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For media enquiries, please contact:

Lars Wessman
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Filomena Tassi, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Labour

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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