Labour Program: Current and future legislative and regulatory changes – Summary

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

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Occupational Health and Safety (Part II*)

Asbestos (now in force)

Amendments to the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations on airborne asbestos:

  • Spring 2014: Consultations
  • June 20, 2017: Coming into force of the regulations

Harassment and violence

A new regime will be in effect as early as 2020 to ensure that federally regulated workplaces and Parliament Hill are free from harassment and violence.

  • November 2017: Publication of the What We Heard report following legislative consultations
  • Summer and fall 2018: Proposed regulatory framework and survey for Canadians to comment
  • October 25, 2018: Legislation received Royal Assent
  • April 26, 2019: Publication of the Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations – What We Heard report
  • April 27, 2019: Pre-publication of draft Work Place Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations in Canada Gazette, Part I, for public comment
  • 2020: Anticipated coming into force of the regulations and legislation

Standards on use of safety materials, equipment, devices and clothing

Amendments to Part XII of the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations.

  • Spring 2017: Consultations
  • July 10, 2019: Publication of proposed regulations in Canada Gazette, Part II, and coming into force of the regulations

Labour Standards (Part III*)

Work-life balance – flexible work arrangements and leaves

Employees working in federally regulated workplaces will have more ways to achieve work-life balance, including the right to ask for flexible work arrangements.

In addition, there will be new leaves for court or jury duty, for personal reasons (see the Canada Labour Code for reasons) and for Indigenous employees to take part in traditional Indigenous practices (know as leave for traditional Aboriginal practices in the Code. These legislative changes will also improve eligibility for existing leaves such as maternity and parental leave as well as bereavement leave, medical leave (previously called sick leave) and reservist leave.

  • December 14, 2017: Legislation received Royal Assent
  • Fall 2018: Regulatory consultations
  • June 12, 2019: Regulations published in Canada Gazette, Part II
  • September 1, 2019: Coming into force of the new provisions

Interns

In 2020, the Canada Labour Code will protect interns in federally regulated workplaces and limit unpaid internships to those that are part of a formal educational program. Unpaid interns that are part of a formal educational program will continue to receive occupational health and safety protections and will now receive certain labour standard protections such as maximum hours of work, weekly days of rest and general holidays.

  • December 14, 2017: Legislation received Royal Assent
  • Fall 2018: Regulatory consultations
  • June 8, 2019: Proposed regulations published in Canada Gazette, Part I
  • 2020: Anticipated coming into force of the regulations and legislation

Modernizing labour standards

Starting in April 2019, federally regulated workers will have a new robust and modern set of labour standards. Changes include improving employees’ eligibility for labour standards, improving employees’ work-life balance, ensuring fair treatment and pay for those in precarious work and enhancing protections for employees whose jobs are terminated.

  • Summer 2018: Publication of the What We Heard report
  • October 29, 2018: Amendments to the Code tabled in Parliament
  • December 13, 2018: Amendments to the Code received Royal Assent
  • Spring 2019: Begin regulatory consultations in support of new standards
  • September 1, 2019: A number of amendments and new standards come into force
  • 2020: Coming into force of a number of amendments

Occupational Health and Safety (Part II*) and Labour Standards (Part III*)

Compliance and enforcement

Starting in 2019, new compliance and enforcement measures under the Canada Labour Code will come into effect.

  • June 22, 2017: Legislation received Royal Assent
  • Fall 2017 and fall 2018: Regulatory consultations
  • April 1, 2019: Coming into force of new labour standards compliance measures
  • Summer/Fall 2019: Anticipated coming into force of transfer of adjudicative functions under Part II, Part III and the Wage Earner Protection Act to the Canada Industrial Relations Board
  • Mid-2020: Anticipated coming into force of the administrative monetary penalty regime and publishing names of violators and offenders

Wage fairness

Pay equity

On October 29, 2018, the Government delivered on its commitment to replace the current complaint-based approach to pay equity in the federal jurisdiction with a proactive regime by tabling new proactive pay equity legislation as part of the Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2. The Pay Equity Act received Royal Assent on December 13, 2018, bringing about a shift in how the right to pay equity is protected in federally regulated workplaces. It will direct employers to take proactive steps to ensure that they are providing women and men with equal pay for work of equal value and require them to maintain pay equity over time.

  • October 25, 2018: Publication of the What We Heard report
  • October 29, 2018: Legislation tabled in Parliament
  • December 13, 2018: Legislation received Royal Assent
  • Spring 2019 to winter 2020: Regulatory consultations (inclusive of Canada Gazette, Part I, pre‑publication process)
  • 2020: Coming into force of the legislation and regulations

Pay transparency

Budget 2018 announced the introduction of pay transparency measures that will provide Canadians with accessible, online information on the wage gaps of employers in the federally regulated private sector covered by the Employment Equity Act. These measures will raise awareness of wage gaps that affect women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities, helping to shift business culture and expectations towards greater equality.

  • January to September 2019: Regulatory consultations (inclusive of Canada Gazette, Part I, pre-publication process)
  • April 4, 2019: Amendments to the Act tabled in Parliament
  • June 21, 2019: Legislation received Royal Assent
  • Winter 2020: Anticipated coming into force of the regulations and legislative amendments

Wage Earner Protection Program

Budget 2018 announced an increase in the maximum Wage Earner Protection Program (WEPP) payment from four to seven weeks of Employment Insurance insurable earnings. Changes will also be made to make eligibility for the Program more equitable.

  • October 29, 2018: Amendments to the WEPP Act tabled in Parliament
  • December 13, 2018: WEPP Act amendments receive Royal Assent, and some of the amendments come into force, including the increase to the maximum payment
  • Spring 2019: Begin regulatory consultations for certain new provisions
  • 2020: Coming into force of the regulations and other legislative amendments

A list of federally regulated businesses and industries can be found at canada.ca/regulated-industries.

Learn more at Canada.ca/labour-program or contact the Labour Program
Toll-free number: 1-800-641-4049
Follow us @Labour_ESDC

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