As a trusted HR solutions provider for an industry largely composed of federally regulated companies, Trucking HR Canada (THRC) closely tracks and shares changes to the Canada Labour Code (CLC) and other federal legislation, developing tools, reports and training to help industry employers comply with and transition through changes.
Updates for Federally Regulated Employers
Supporting employers with changes to the Canada Labour Code (CLC) and other federal legislation
Federal Regulation Updates and Employer Supports
Two amendments to the Canada Labour Code, part of the Budget Implementation Act of 2018, came into effect on July 9, 2023. The amendments compel federally regulated employers to:
- Reimburse employees for reasonable work-related expenses;
- Provide employees with a written employment statement containing specific employment related information within allocated time frames; and
- Provide information regarding the rights of employees and employers under Part III of the CLC.
Employment statements must meet specific criteria and are not necessarily the same as job offer letters. They must be provided to existing employees within 90 days of July 9, 2023, and to new employees within 30 days of the first day of work.
For more information about what the employment statement should contain, or about the government’s definition of “reasonable work-related expense” and the required timelines for expense reimbursement, see Trucking HR Canada’s resource on the July 9 amendments.
As of December 15, 2023, federally regulated employers will need to make menstrual products freely available to workers in the workplace.
This requirement comes as part of changes to the Canada Labour Code meant to improve the well-being of workers who may need access to these products during the workday. The regulations will require federally regulated employers to keep a store of clean and hygienic pads and tampons in all workplace washrooms regardless of marked gender —or, if that is not feasible, in a place that is accessible to employees at all times and that offers a reasonable amount of privacy. In addition, covered disposal bins will need to be placed in each single-toilet washroom and in each stall of multi-toilet washrooms.
Official government guidance materials on the new requirements will be available in the coming months.
On February 1, 2024, new amendments come into force that update the individual termination of employment provisions to ensure employees receive sufficient notice and/or compensation when their jobs are terminated. The amendments introduce a graduated notice of termination that increases based on the employee’s length of service.
Currently, employees who complete three consecutive months of continuous employment are entitled to two weeks’ notice or pay in lieu of notice. With the new provisions, they will become entitled to three weeks’ notice (or pay in lieu of notice) once they complete three years of continuous employment. For each year of continuous employment after that, they are entitled to an additional week of notice (or pay in lieu of notice) up to a maximum of eight weeks.
The new provisions also require employers to provide a written statement of benefits to employees who are terminated. The statement must include the employee’s vacation benefits, wages, severance pay, and any other benefits associated with their employment. For more information, see volume 157, number 13 of the Canada Gazette, part II.
Bill C-3 received Royal Assent on December 17, 2021 and came into force on December 1, 2022. It introduced new provisions that compel employers to provide employees with up to 10 days of paid medical leave per year, and a leave of absence from work of up to 8 weeks in the event of the death of a child or loss of an unborn child.
Employees earn 3 days of paid medical leave after 30 days continuous employment, then accumulate one additional day of paid leave per calendar month of continuous employment until they reach the maximum of 10 days. Employees can carry unused days into the next calendar year, but they can’t accumulate more than 10 days in total.
For tips on how to manage your employees’ paid medical leave, check out Trucking HR Canada’s Bill C-3 explainer.
The Accessible Canada Act, which was adopted in 2019, introduces important new requirements for federally regulated employers. Those with 100 or more employees were required to prepare and publish an Accessibility Plan by June 1, 2023. Employers with 10 – 99 employees have until June 1, 2024 to prepare and publish their Accessibility Plan.
The Accessibility Plan is a document that identifies barriers to inclusion in a workplace and outlines the employer’s plans to address them. The Plan must cover specific focus areas prescribed in the Act and must involve consultation with persons with disabilities. Trucking HR Canada prepared a template that employers can use as a basis for their own Accessibility Plans. You can view it here.
Bill C-65 came into force on January 1, 2021. It introduced sweeping new requirements for the handling of workplace harassment and violence prevention in federally regulated workplaces. Employers were required to train their workforce, identify and train a Designated Recipient, and adapt to a new complaint resolution process. Trucking HR Canada produced a number resources and training modules to help employers comply with these requirements, all of which are accessible on our website.
The Regulations require that workplace harassment and violence prevention policies, workplace risk assessments, employee training, and Designated Recipient training be reviewed and renewed at least every 3 years after they are first put into place. Since most employers will have implemented their workplace risk assessment and WHVP policy in 2021, they will need to review and, if necessary, update these documents in 2024. Employees and Designated Recipients who had their initial training in 2021 will also be due to repeat the training in 2024.
Also check out THRC’s HR Resource Library – Topic Area: Canada Labour Code to access practical and downloadable tools and information or visit our Training Centre to access a suite of online Training courses for employers and employees.
The Pay Equity Act received Royal Assent on December 13, 2018, and came into force on August 31, 2021. It establishes a proactive pay equity regime for federally regulated workplaces with 10 or more employees. Under the Act, employers will be required to proactively analyze compensation practices to ensure equal pay is provided for work of equal value.
Federally regulated employers with 10 or more employees must develop a Pay Equity Plan. Those that had 10+ employees in the year before the Act came into force have until August 31, 2024 to develop their plan. Employers that come to employ 10+ employees at any point after the Act came into force will become subject to the Act on January 1 of the following year and will have 3 years from that date to implement their plan.
Developing the Pay Equity Plan is a multi-step process that will require focus and preparation. We recommend visiting the Canada Human Rights Commission Pay Equity website for guidance on how to develop your plan. Once the plan is developed, it must be shared with employees so they can review it and provide feedback. If any predominantly female job classes are found to be receiving less compensation than predominantly male job classes of equal value, companies will be obligated to gradually increase compensation for the female job classes to correct the imbalance.