How Bill C-86 Will Change Employee Termination Policies

April 23, 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.

Currently, if a federally regulated employer wants to terminate an employee, it must give two-weeks’ notice or pay two weeks’ wages, provided the employee has completed three months of continuous employment. If the position is under a collective bargaining agreement, the employer may also have to notify the trade union.

Bill C-86, which received royal assent in December 2018, will amend the Canada Labour Code (the “Code”) and replace the standard two-week notice with a graduated system based on length of employment:

  • two weeks for employees who have completed three months of employment;
  • three weeks for employees who have completed three years of employment;
  • four weeks for employees who have completed four years of employment;
  • five weeks for employees who have completed five years of employment;
  • six weeks for employees who have completed six years of employment;
  • seven weeks for employees who have completed seven years of employment; and
  • eight weeks for employees who have completed eight years of employment.

Generally, for employees who are part of a group termination, there will now be an additional individual notice period of eight weeks as defined in the Code.

Bill C-86 is one of the most important regulatory issues for trucking and logistics HR managers to understand, as it will affect work scheduling and break periods, leaves of absence, vacation entitlements, and more. I previously covered how Bill-86 affects leaves of absence and hours of work policies, among other amendments to the Code, in previous posts.

Many of these amendments will come into force on September 1, 2019 at the earliest. Other changes to the Code may come sooner, or possibly later, as they are to come into force at dates fixed by order of the Governor in Council, including aggregate parental leave entitlements, individual termination notices, reimbursement of work-related expenses obligations, and personal leaves.

Overall, these legislative changes will surely affect the labour and employment practices of federally regulated employers. We encourage affected employers to begin preparing for these changes now by conducting a full review of their current policies and procedures.