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labour relations issues in canada


The particularities of Québec are often complex and can vary depending on the nature of your activities and your situation, whether it involves language requirements, labour standards or applicable taxes, to name but a few. 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. Some jurisdictions also prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and/or expression, or on criminal convictions pardoned or unrelated to employment. The Canada Labour Code. ‘Enough is enough’: labour activists fed up with NS government Labour relations in Nova Scotia are at an all-time low according to the Federation of Labour. 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. 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. 3.3        Are there any special rules relating to sexual harassment (such as mandatory training requirements)? Canadian employees are protected against discrimination by way of human rights legislation, which is separate from employment standards legislation, and varies between jurisdictions. Striking or picketing can only occur after the expiry of a collective agreement where certain conditions are met. Similarly, where the sale concerns a unionised business, the purchaser is deemed to be a successor employer and becomes bound to the vendor’s collective agreement(s). 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. Fasken's Doing Business in Canada provides a concise and practical overview of the country's legal and regulatory environment. 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. 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 courts will award additional damages to employees where their employment has been terminated in bad faith. Rather, workers’ compensation is dealt with by way of statute and systems administered by government bodies or agencies. Requirements and rules relating to sexual harassment are usually comprised in general policies pertaining to psychological harassment and/or workplace violence, and depend on each jurisdiction’s employment standards legislation. In Québec, a contract of employment is not terminated by the sale or alienation of the assets of a business. How long does the process typically take and what are the sanctions for failing to inform and consult? 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). Employment & Labour Law > The amount of notice to which employees are entitled in the case of mass terminations is based on the number of employees concerned in the mass termination. Employees are entitled to various benefits such as overtime pay, public holiday pay, vacation entitlements and protected leaves of absence. Competitive issues have become very crucial, affecting labour-management relations through corporate downsizing, for example. These legislated regimes provide a public “no fault” compensation system, whereby injured workers receive benefits from the program but cannot take legal action against the employer. All jurisdictions have legislation and other measures designed to reduce the incidence of occupational accidents and diseases in the workplace. Each Canadian province or territory sets the minimum employment standards applicable to all employees within their jurisdiction. 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. In some jurisdictions, employers also have to put in place a policy or code of conduct including protection for whistleblowers and in others, a recourse exists for employees who believe they have been disciplined, demoted or terminated because of whistleblowing which allows them to seek reinstatement. 5.1        On a business sale (either a share sale or asset transfer) do employees automatically transfer to the buyer? The Labour Relations Act applies to all employers, workers, trade unions and employers’ organisations. 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. Each Canadian jurisdiction has employment standards legislation setting minimum standards regarding matters such as minimum wage, hours or work, overtime pay, holiday pay, vacation and other leaves of absences (pregnancy, parental, sick leave, etc.). 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. 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. 4.1        How long does maternity leave last? The labour rights and responsibilities of about 12,000 businesses and 820,000 of their employees are defined by the Canada Labour Code. 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. 8.4        Are employers entitled to monitor an employee’s emails, telephone calls or use of an employer’s computer system? 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. ... across a whole range of issues … Employment law in Canada is governed both by statute and, in nine of the ten provinces, by common law. 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. 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. Nearly 80 percent of the workers had voted to join CUPE. If their claim is successful, employees will be awarded damages for the compensation they would have earned over the applicable notice period. As unions we can help to educate and empower our members so … One major difference between the two countries, however, is that there is no “employment at will” doctrine in Canada. Although the courts have never used a “rule of thumb” approach in determining the reasonable period of notice, judicial awards reach a typical maximum of 24 months for senior executives in their late 50s or early 60s with lengthy service. Private sector employees are covered by the Canada Labour Code and the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB). When the shares of a company are purchased, the legal personality of the corporation does not change. "Regulating and Resolving Public Sector Disputes in Canada". 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? Any working notice or pay in lieu of notice provided to employees will only be valid once the appropriate government official has received a valid notice of mass termination. Is consent from a third party required before an employer can dismiss? Workers’ compensation programs provide benefits for workers suffering from job-related injuries and diseases. In some jurisdictions such as Ontario and the federal sector, certain employees will be entitled to severance pay in addition to termination notice or pay in lieu. These payments are funded by deduction at source. 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