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Canada | Publication | August 2019
Bill C-86, which received royal assent in 2018, makes numerous changes to the Canada Labour Code that will significantly affect employees’ entitlements to breaks, scheduling notices, and overtime. The changes discussed below come into effect on September 1, 2019.
In light of these new provisions, employers will have a heightened responsibility to manage their employees’ work day to ensure compliance with the Code. That said, employers should be mindful that regulations governing exceptions to these new provisions of the Code have yet to be finalized and passed into law.
In particular, the government is in the process of providing guidance to employers on how to apply the exceptions in the Code for hours of work and overtime. However, these exceptions will be fact driven and are meant to apply in limited and unusual circumstances only.
There is also a limited opportunity for the regulations to provide exemptions or modifications to certain classes of employees, where the overtime and scheduling requirements would be “unduly prejudicial” or “seriously detrimental” to the day-to-day operation of a business.
As summer comes to an end, employers would be wise to review their policies and/or procedures relating to breaks, overtime and scheduling in anticipation of these changes. Employers should also consider what the impact of the new provisions will be on their operations and make plans accordingly. Further interpretive guidance will likely be provided by the government in the fall or shortly thereafter.
For more detailed information on the new September 1, 2019 amendments to Part III of the Code, please refer to our Federal Employment and Labour Guide for Employers here.
As many federally regulated employers are aware, the Pay Equity Act (the Act), which came into force in 2021, requires that all federally regulated employers with 10 or more employees prepare and post a pay equity plan by September 3, 2024.
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