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labour relations issues in canada

1.6        To what extent are terms and conditions of employment agreed through collective bargaining? Issues a Labour Relations Consultant Can Help With. will also continue when the shares are acquired. In some jurisdictions, joint employer-employee health and safety committees are required for larger workplaces. Canadian human rights legislation provides the same protections to employees regardless of the terms of their contracts. Similarly, employment following an asset purchase is continued on the same terms and conditions for unionised employees. Note, in Québec there is the Québec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP). Rather, workers’ compensation is dealt with by way of statute and systems administered by government bodies or agencies. Outside of Québec, non-competition clauses will not be enforced where an employer’s interests could be adequately protected by a non-solicitation clause. An employer may also seek an interim injunction from a court if it is suffering potentially irreparable harm due to the employee’s breach of the restrictive covenant. Industry Experience Experienced labour relations professional with extensive knowledge in the law enforcement sector. Private and public sector labour relations issues may be explored. In certain circumstances, employees can be disciplined in relation to their unlawful use of social media. The rules governing a trade union’s right to take industrial action are set out in the respective jurisdiction’s labour laws. 1.1        What are the main sources of employment law? Direct and indirect discrimination are prohibited under human rights legislation. Labour relations have also been affected by the structure of the Canadian economy. However, the federal government (or the provincial government in Québec) maintains an insurance scheme through which parents caring for newborn children can receive a percentage of their pre-leave earnings. Labour relations refers to the relations between employers and employees. Health and safety authorities carry out inspections at construction sites, industrial plants and other hazardous sites to ensure compliance with the regulations. Are employees entitled to compensation on dismissal and if so how is compensation calculated? 8.3        Are employers entitled to carry out pre-employment checks on prospective employees (such as criminal record checks)? Labour and Employment law is a multi-faceted practice that pertains to all aspects of labour relations, human resources, and the employment relationship. Employment terminations cannot be directly or indirectly based on a prohibited ground of discrimination and cannot be used as reprisal following the exercise, by an employee, of a legal right under employment standards legislation, or any other employment-related legislation such as labour or occupational health and safety legislation (see section 3 and question 6.3). Regardless of the reason, termination of employment must be made in compliance with any applicable employment standards legislation, contract of employment or collective agreement. ICLG - Employment & Labour Laws and Regulations - 2.1        What are the rules relating to trade union recognition? Unions represent approximately 30% of the Canadian workforce. As such, employees have an implied and legal duty of loyalty toward their employers, as well as a duty of good faith. 1.3        Do contracts of employment have to be in writing? Some jurisdictions also prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and/or expression, or on criminal convictions pardoned or unrelated to employment. Both the federal and provincial governments provide mediation and conciliation services, which can be mandatory before employees may strike or employers may lock out employees in furtherance of their bargaining aims. 3.3        Are there any special rules relating to sexual harassment (such as mandatory training requirements)? As unions we can help to educate and empower our members so … 1.4        Are any terms implied into contracts of employment? 2.3        Are there any rules governing a trade union’s right to take industrial action? The QPIP replaces benefits that Québec residents previously received under the Employment Insurance Act. Each Canadian province or territory sets the minimum employment standards applicable to all employees within their jurisdiction. Typically, this amount is significantly higher than in the context of an individual dismissal. Employers can terminate employment for any lawful reason (i.e. After the recession, faced with increased use of back-to-work legislation and harder-bargaining, labour, in its weakest … Striking or picketing can only occur after the expiry of a collective agreement where certain conditions are met. Similarly, in some jurisdictions, questions relating to a prohibited ground of discrimination can be lawfully asked to employees in the context of a program aimed at preventing social inequalities or disadvantages. Last week the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) ruled that the ballot box should be opened and the ballots counted. Similarly, it is implied that employees will perform their work with competence and diligence, and will respect their employer’s confidential information and trade secrets. Employment relationships in Canada are generally governed by employment contracts, subject to labour and employment legislation, as well as the common law, or, in Québec, the Civil Code. (2,100 retail employees) and Workers United Canada Council, Local 152 (SEIU) Dec 14, 2020 Calgary HGIHS (Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites) Gender identity is increasingly becoming protected against discrimination as well. Borden Ladner Gervais, Marie-Pier Emery For instance, educational or social institutions or organisations that are primarily engaged in serving the interests of persons identified by a particular characteristic may reasonably give preference in employment to candidates who identify with that particular characteristic as well without it being deemed discriminatory. 8.2        Do employees have a right to obtain copies of any personal information that is held by their employer? Generally, the maximum duration of a non-competition clause is two years. In some jurisdictions, for first collective agreements, there is a system of binding arbitration available to resolve disputes in a cost-effective and timely manner. In addition, in all provinces, employment standards or human rights legislation prohibits discrimination based on gender for similar or substantially similar work. Gender identity is increasingly becoming protected against discrimination as well. 6.10      How do employees enforce their rights in relation to mass dismissals and what are the consequences if an employer fails to comply with its obligations? Harmonious labour-management relations are beneficial to both the economic security of individuals and the economic prosperity of Canada. These termination notice periods are simply the statutory minimum periods of notice required. Can an employer transfer employee data freely to other countries? 7.2        When are restrictive covenants enforceable and for what period? Once a union has been certified by a labour relations board as an agent for a specific “bargaining unit”, it has the exclusive right to negotiate with the employer on behalf of the employees, whether or not they are members of the union. covers common issues in employment and labour laws and regulations – terms and conditions of employment, employee representation and industrial relations, discrimination, maternity and family leave rights and business sales – in 51 jurisdictions, ICLG.com > 5.1        On a business sale (either a share sale or asset transfer) do employees automatically transfer to the buyer? Where a mass termination occurs, employers have the obligation to notify the appropriate government official. The procedures which an employer has to follow in relation to an employee’s dismissal depend on the contracts of employment and/or policies which govern the employment relationship. The way drivers are classified can significantly impact the obligations and operations of a business, as independent contractors are excluded from most employment standards and labour relations legislation both federally and provincially, although dependent contractors can be captured for certain purposes. Each Canadian jurisdiction has labour legislation which provides for the procedure by which a trade union may become recognised or certified as the exclusive bargaining agent for a group of employees, known as a bargaining unit. Canada. 4.4        Do fathers have the right to take paternity leave? not related to a prohibited ground or as retaliation), except in circumstances where they have to prove just cause. Typically, if an employee’s personal information is to be transferred to another country, the concerned employee must be notified, and their employer must take reasonable steps to ensure that it will not be used for purposes other than why they are being transferred. Employers pay premiums to provincial workers’ compensation boards at rates determined primarily on the basis of the type of industry, size of payroll and the employer’s claim record. 8.4        Are employers entitled to monitor an employee’s emails, telephone calls or use of an employer’s computer system? The courts will award additional damages to employees where their employment has been terminated in bad faith. If an employee is terminated for cause, there is no obligation to provide advance notice to the employee or payment in lieu thereof. Courts will only enforce a non-competition clause if it: protects a legitimate proprietary interest of the employer; constitutes a reasonable restraint having regard to factors such as duration, geographic scope, and activities prohibited; is expressed in clear and certain terms; and is reasonable in terms of the public interest. If the employer is found to have been non-compliant with its statutory obligations under employment standards legislation in regard to mass terminations, an order of compliance may be made against the employer. This exclusive representation right applies to all of the employees covered by that bargaining unit, regardless of their support for the union. The Labour Relations Act applies to all employers, workers, trade unions and employers’ organisations. However, if the employee is approached with a restrictive covenant during the term of employment, additional consideration (which could take the form of financial compensation, but also of a promotion, for instance) must be given to the employee in exchange for the restrictive covenant. It should be noted that, in some jurisdictions, employees are also entitled to a certificate or attestation of employment following their termination. Employment contracts do not have to be in writing to be valid, and they can take the form of an offer letter, a formal contract or even a verbal agreement. Strikes and lock-outs during the term of a collective agreement are normally prohibited in all jurisdictions. There are three types of workers in Canada: employees; dependent contractors; and independent contractors, which are distinguished mainly based on their level of subordination to their superiors. Employers can and are often encouraged to settle claims at any point during the complaint process, both before and after a formal claim is filed or initiated. Employers are generally entitled to monitor emails, telephone calls and/or computers in non-unionised workplaces, absent any privacy legislation. In addition, pre-employment checks such as criminal records checks, credit checks and driver’s licence checks may reveal information about protected grounds of discrimination, such as previous convictions unrelated to the position in Québec. The Canada Labour Code. However, non-solicitation clauses must remain reasonable in scope and duration to be enforceable, and will rarely be enforced for a period of over two years. 5.3        Are there any information and consultation rights on a business sale? In Québec, the EI premium rate is $1.25 for every $100 of salary earned, up to a maximum annual employee contribution of $663.75, and a maximum employer contribution of $929.25. Non-union employees outside of the federal sector, Nova Scotia and Québec do not have a right to reinstatement in their employment even if their dismissal was wrongful or without cause. 6.8        Can employers settle claims before or after they are initiated? In some circumstances, employers who do not comply with their obligations in relation to mass termination may also receive fines. However, fathers are also entitled to parental leave in all jurisdictions. Private sector employees are covered by the Canada Labour Code and the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB). Log in and unlock access to three FREE PDF downloads per month This is not applicable in Canada. Exclusions from the bargaining unit are also provided in certain jurisdictions for non-managerial employees who have access to confidential information relating to labour matters. The province of Québec differs in this respect in that it has no system of common law. Generally, if an employer prefers that an employee not work during the notice period, the employer will simply pay compensation in lieu of notice. Labour and Employment law is a multi-faceted practice that pertains to all aspects of labour relations, human resources, and the employment relationship. 4.1        How long does maternity leave last? Specific rules also regulate when a union can be decertified or replaced with another union. For 2017, maximum insurable earnings are $53,100. Collective agreements in force at the time of the sale therefore continue to govern all terms and conditions of employment, and bind the purchaser to the corresponding union. Situations in which those minimums do not apply are limited to specific circumstances such as wilful misconduct or serious reason, or in the case of fixed-term contracts. If employees believe that their employer did not comply with mass termination requirements, they may file a complaint with the employment standards commission or board of their jurisdiction. 6.4        Are there any categories of employees who enjoy special protection against dismissal? Maternity or pregnancy leave entitlements vary between jurisdictions, with pregnant employees being generally entitled to up to 16 to 18 weeks of unpaid leave. 30+ days ago. Some employment standards legislation also requires employers to develop written policies, such as with respect to workplace violence and harassment, for instance. In many jurisdictions, employment standards legislation requires that employees on maternity leave continue receiving their benefit coverage for the duration of that leave, subject to their continued payment of associated premiums. Finally, as share purchases do not trigger a modification in the employment status of employees, unionised or not, the terms and conditions relating to employees’ employment remain the same. Courts will not grant injunctive relief unless the employer is able to demonstrate a strong prima facie case that the terms of the restrictive covenant are reasonable, that the employee is in fact violating the restrictive covenant, and that the situation needs to be urgently addressed in order to prevent an irreparable loss by the employer. "Regulating and Resolving Public Sector Disputes in Canada". Upon their return from leave, employees on maternity leave are entitled to come back to their pre-leave position or, when not possible, to a comparable one. This includes a redundancy or reorganization scenario. Although outside use is harder to control, employers are allowed to place limits on such use, namely where employees use social media through employer-provided equipment, or, in some cases, where this use has a direct impact on the employer’s business interests. 4.6        Are employees entitled to work flexibly if they have responsibility for caring for dependants? Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who fought to overturn the 2016 referendum, has ordered his MPs to vote for the deal. What are the remedies for a successful claim? 9.4        Is it possible to appeal against a first instance decision and if so how long do such appeals usually take? All jurisdictions in Canada (federal, provincial and territorial) have passed human rights legislation prohibiting discrimination in the employment relationship based on grounds that usually include race, sex, age, religion, colour, disability, marital or family status, ancestry or place of origin and sexual orientation. All jurisdictions in Canada (federal, provincial and territorial) have passed human rights legislation prohibiting discrimination in the employment relationship based on grounds that usually include race, sex, age, religion, colour, disability, marital or family status, ancestry or place of origin and sexual orientation. Safety and health issues can lead to labour relations strife, producing work stoppages. 3.6        What remedies are available to employees in successful discrimination claims? Canada There are some limitations on an employee’s ability to obtain copies of personal information, such as where this information is subject to legal privilege. entitlement that varies depending on the seniority of the employee. theft or harassment) may allow for immediate dismissal for just cause. This right may also exist under a collective agreement. To invoke the BFOR defence, the employer must establish the following: ■     the policy or standard was adopted for a purpose rationally connected to the performance of the work in question; ■     the policy or standard was adopted in good faith and as the result of an honest belief that it was necessary to fulfil a legitimate work-related purpose; and. Labour relations acts and labour codes usually require that the purchaser of the shares or assets assume any applicable collective agreements. These minimum statutory employment standards include: Employment standards legislation prescribes a minimum standard that employees cannot waive by contract. As an experienced Canadian Labour Relations consultant I can provide your organization with guidance and training in handling labour relations issues such as: Compliance with the Canadian labour and employment laws; Collective bargaining; Grievance arbitration and Labour arbitration; Mediation Depending on the jurisdiction and on whether or not a pregnancy or maternity leave was also taken, parental leave can be as much as between 34 and 63 weeks. Following an asset transfer, a purchaser is generally free to retain the vendor’s employees or not, and can therefore determine the terms and conditions of employment on which it is prepared to offer those employees employment. Any settlement reached in relation with a complaint concerning a dismissal must comply with minimum employment standards legislation. Between 1981-1984, the number of locals declined also, from 15,555 in 1981 to 15,412 in 1982 to 15,187 by 1984, according to Labour Canada figures. While reconsideration or internal appeals of administrative decisions can occur relatively quickly and within a few months, appeals and judicial review processes may take significantly longer. Generally, purchasers are free to set the terms and conditions of the offers of employment that will be made to a vendor’s non-union employees in the context of an asset transfer. An employer will not be liable for employment-related discrimination if the alleged discriminatory act (including a decision, policy or standard) is a bona fide occupational requirement (“BFOR”), where the employer can prove undue hardship, or where a statutory exemption exists. Federal works and undertakings are subject to employment equity legislation, the purpose of which is to provide employment and promotion opportunities to members of four protected groups: women, Aboriginal people, people with disabilities and visible minorities. Similarly, unionised employees must generally be offered employment with the purchaser in the context of an asset transfer. Personal information can generally only be collected for a rational purpose, and its distribution must be limited. It does not apply to: National Defence Force, National Intelligence Agency, or; South African Secret Service. The offer of employment is often based on the same or substantially similar terms, and the employees who accept the offer will carry over their accumulated service and seniority. Employers also have a number of implied duties, such as providing a work environment that is safe and secure, and providing reasonable notice of dismissal to their employees in case of termination without cause. Can employers settle claims before or after they are initiated? In Canada, an employment relationship may legally be terminated in one of two typical ways: for cause or by way of providing reasonable notice or pay in lieu of notice to the other party. Employers must also attempt to accommodate employees to the point of undue hardship. This could be the case, for instance, when an employee insulted their employer in an online publication accessible to numerous people, or when an employee lies about their medical condition and posts a contradictory statement or picture online. Thus, even though a shift in control has occurred, the corporation still continues to be the employer and generally there is no resulting reduction or break in service and seniority. Generally, a union must demonstrate that it has the support of a majority of employees in a proposed bargaining unit in order to be certified. Journal of Industrial Relations, 50 (4), 545-559. Generally, where an employer has the burden to establish just cause for dismissal (in unionised workplaces or in the federal sector, in Québec and in Nova Scotia), it is expected to apply progressive discipline before proceeding with termination, in order to provide that employee with a reasonable chance to improve their behaviour and/or performance. The employment insurance system is financed through payroll taxes levied on both employees and employers. Maternity or pregnancy … A number of human rights tribunals and commissions across Canada also exercise broad remedial powers and can order various forms of non-monetary relief (sometimes including reinstatement) to successful claimants. Collective agreements usually protect employees against dismissal without just cause. The Federal Labor Law governs labor relations in Mexico in that it spells out specific rules and regulations concerning terms of employment, functions of labor courts and roles of labor unions. Finally, it should be noted that the protection conferred upon employees who raise concern about corporate malpractice or become whistleblowers will generally only be applicable if those employees used the proper channels to voice their concerns, instead of traditional medias or social media platforms. Unionisation rates vary by province, with Québec having the highest rate at approximately 39%, and Alberta and Ontario having the lowest rates at approximately 25% and 26%, respectively. By continuing to use this website you are agreeing to our use of cookies as described in our. 7.4        How are restrictive covenants enforced? Research from a Poverty and Employment Precarity in Southern Ontario (PEPSO) project, which demonstrated the limitations of existing studies like Statistics Canada’s Labour … Does an employee have to pay a fee to submit a claim? Most full-time public sector employees – federal civil servants - are covered by the Public Service Labour Relations Act and the Public Service Labour Relations Board (PSLRB). Although employment laws rarely address whistleblowing, Canadian employees are protected against retaliation by their employer in cases of whistleblowing by the Canadian Criminal Code, which applies to all jurisdictions and states that employers may not take disciplinary action, demote or terminate an employee in order to deter them from reporting information relating to corporate malpractice or any offence committed by their employer. 2.5        In what circumstances will a works council have co-determination rights, so that an employer is unable to proceed until it has obtained works council agreement to proposals? • 1961 – The New Democratic Party is founded as the successor to the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation and establishes a formal relationship with the organized labour movement. A restrictive covenant of shorter duration is therefore more likely to be enforced. However, it can take place at the industry level (such as in the construction industry) in some jurisdictions. 3.5        How do employees enforce their discrimination rights? Workplace policies on social media should also include provisions on use outside of work. Undue hardship is a very high threshold to reach and is determined having regard to factors such as costs, operational requirements and health and safety concerns, amongst others. Minimum notice periods for termination are set out in each jurisdiction’s employment standards legislation. Overview of Québec law and the legislative, legal and regulatory climate in Québec and Canada for non-Canadians who may wish to conduct, acquire or establish a business in Québec. The situation is different in an asset transfer, as the legal identity of the employer does change. Each of the above factors will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and the employer will have the burden to prove that the non-competition clause is drafted in a way which renders it enforceable. Liability for termination obligations relating to such terminations usually rests with the vendor, although some sale agreements provide otherwise. Again, as employment contracts in Québec are transferred to the purchaser in the context of an asset transfer, their terms and conditions will follow and continue to apply with the purchaser. However, labour legislation requires collective agreements to be in writing. 7.3        Do employees have to be provided with financial compensation in return for covenants? In addition, many jurisdictions prohibit discrimination on the basis of family status, which may trigger the duty for employers to accommodate their employees if they have responsibility for caring for dependants, to the point of undue hardship of course. 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