Selection of S & H Committee Members and of Representatives using "Managerial Functions" as a criterion - 907-1-IPG-006

Note: Pursuant to the Interpretation Act, in the following text, words importing male persons include female persons.

1. Subject

Interpretation of managerial function, as used in subsection 135(1) and 136(2) of the Canada Labour Code , Part II and in section 3 of the Safety and Health Committees and Representatives Regulations .

2. Issue

In order to assist Health and Safety Officers in advising employers and employees in the establishment of work place health and safety committee and the appointment of health and safety representatives, the following interpretation is issued in order to ensure consistent and uniform application of the Code and of the pursuant Regulations.

3. Question and Answer

What does the phrase "managerial functions" as found in subsection 135(1) and subsection 136(2) of Part II of the Code and section 3 of the Safety and Health Committees and Representatives Regulations mean?

Because of the numerous complex structures that come under the federal jurisdiction, no single definition can be provided for managerial functions. However, managerial functions would be those functions which would indicate whether an employee is management oriented in terms of his responsibilities.

The Boards have looked at a series of elements to determine whether an employee falls in the managerial category. For it to be the case, it was held that the duties performed by that employee had to "seriously impact" on the employment status of other employees. Those criteria may be summarized as follows:

  1. a certain amount of decision-making authority in financial, operational, personnel and policy matters;
  2. whether the employee in question has the power to make decisions or effective recommendations that materially affect the conditions of employment of others;
  3. the power to hire, fire, suspend, demote, transfer or otherwise discipline employees;
  4. whether the person acts as a step in the grievance procedure.

However, there are instances, where the supervisors are members of a bargaining unit that have been certified by the CLRB. Thus, we are to conclude that the Board does not consider the supervisors as exercising management functions and therefore, it maintains the view that a distinction should be made between "supervisory" and "managerial" responsibilities. Consequently, a clear determination will have to be made by the investigating officer as to whether a supervisor is carrying out a managerial function.

Note: Supervisors that sit as employee members of the Safety and Health Committee clearly may not have the same community of interests as the other employees, but will still speak on their behalf. This situation may imperil the balance of equal representation that is sought in the Code. Therefore, it may be appropriate for the Health and Safety Officer to suggest to the employer to set up "local committees" or possibly to increase the number of employee representatives thereby allowing for a greater proportion of non-supervisory employees to be represented on the Committee.

Brenda Baxter
Director General
Workplace Directorate
Employment and Social Development Canada – Labour Program
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