How Bill C-86 Affects Leaves of Absence and Vacation Pay

March 26, 2019 by Miguel Mangalindan


Modernizing your workforce starts with modernizing your HR approach.

In today’s labour market, successful truck fleets and logistics companies know that staying abreast of the issues will help them stay ahead of the competition. Follow Trucking HR Canada’s 10 part “Modernizing Your HR Approach” blog series as we navigate emerging trends and share tips for finding, hiring, and retaining the talent you need.

Miguel Mangalindan is a Senior Associate Lawyer at Monkhouse Law where he practices Employment, Human Rights and Disability Insurance Law. He was a panelist at Trucking HR Canada’s Mental Health symposium last October, and recently participated as one of the Learning Highway session presenters at Women with Drive, sharing insights on how Bill C-86 will impact you. This week, we invited him to again share his expertise with us through our Blog Series.

One of the most important regulatory issues for trucking and logistics HR managers this year involves Bill C-86, which will amend the Canada Labour Code and significantly affect federally regulated employers.

These amendments involve work scheduling and break periods, pay equity, termination, and more.

This is the first of a four-part contribution to Trucking HR Canada’s “Modernizing Your HR Approach” blog series covering some of the changes in Bill C-86, starting with new provisions related to leaves of absence and vacation pay.

Leaves of absence

Bill C-86 will eliminate the minimum length of service requirement for leaves of absence entitlements, which means that employees will qualify immediately once they’ve been hired. It also creates new or amended types of leave, including:

  • Personal leave: Employees will be entitled to “personal leave” for up to five days a year (three days paid). Personal leave covers a wide range of reasons, including illness and family obligations.
  • Medical leave: The 17-week leave for personal illness or injury will be expanded to include organ or tissue donation and medical appointments during working hours.
  • Family violence: Employees who have completed three months of service are entitled to a 10-day leave if they are a victim of family violence or a parent of a child who is a victim of family violence. The first five days of family violence leave are with pay.
  • Court or jury duty: Employees will be entitled to unpaid leave in order to act as witnesses or jurors in a judicial proceeding or to participate in a jury selection process.

Vacation pay

The minimum federal standard for paid vacation time will be two weeks after one year of employment, three weeks after five years, and four weeks after 10 years.

Bill C-86 will increase the rate of vacation pay for longer service. For example, a person who has been with the same employer for at least 10 consecutive years will be entitled to vacation pay equal to 8% of their wages during the year of employment in respect of which they are entitled to the vacation.

The bill will also eliminate the 30-day period of employment presently required for an employee to be entitled to holiday pay for a general holiday.

Many of these amendments will not come into force until September 1 at the earliest, so now is the time to assess whether your policies and procedures will be in compliance. We encourage affected employers to learn more about C-86 and prepare for these changes by conducting a full review.