Changes to the Canada Labour Code for the Federally Regulated Private Sector
Some changes are coming into effect this year. We have received the press release on the Canada Labour Code and want to inform you of some important details for our members in the private sector. Several changes have already been made and others will come as of June and December 2021. These changes are related to Bill C-30, an Act to Implement Certain Provisions of the Budget tabled in Parliament on April 19, 2021, and other measures, and Bill C-220, An Act to Amend the Canada Labour Code (bereavement leave).
Here is what should be noted as regards what has already been implemented and what will be implemented in 2021:
Federal Minimum Wage
Effective date: December 29, 2021
Employees in federally regulated workplaces will benefit from a federal minimum wage of $15 per hour. Provisions are in place to ensure that where provincial or territorial minimum wages are higher, that wage will prevail. To keep the minimum wage relevant and to make sure it increases with inflation, every April 1 the minimum wage will be adjusted (rounded up to the nearest $0.05) based on Canada’s Consumer Price Index for the preceding calendar year. This will play an important role in reducing inequality, particularly for low-wage workers.
UCTE has long supported this decision. We are pleased to see that the minimum wage has been recognized as being too low, and that it will keep pace with inflation over the next few years. We look forward to the implementation of this change at the CLC.
To access the Government of Canada page with all the information:
To view the press release:
Effective date: June 19, 2021
Employees can now take the leave related to COVID-19 under Part III (Labour Standards) of the Canada Labour Code for up to 42 weeks in total, when the employee is unable to work due to needing to provide care:
- to a child who is under 12 years of age, or
- to a family member who requires supervised care due to specified circumstances related to COVID-19 (for example, if the person’s school or care facility is closed due to COVID-19).
With these amendments, employees in the federally regulated private sector can benefit from the improved Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit.
For more information, consult: Leave related to COVID-19 (unpaid).
Note: As Bill C-30 received Royal Assent on June 29, it repeals the regulations adopted for the leave related to COVID-19. Consequently, the amendment is now in Part III of the Code.
For more information:
Leave related to the death or disappearance of a child
Effective June 29, 2021
The leave related to death or disappearance of a child under Part III of the Code was amended to ensure that employees in the federally regulated private sector can take advantage of the improved Canadian Benefit for Parents of Young Victims of Crime without fear of losing their job.
Among other amendments, the leave was amended as follows:
- extension to the eligibility for the leave to parents of children under 25 years of age (previously under 18 years of age);
- increase to the maximum length of the leave from 52 to 104 weeks in instances where the employee is a parent to a child that has disappeared;
- increase to the total amount of leave that may be taken by employees in respect to the disappearance of the same child from 52 to 104 weeks;
- modification to the exception that disentitles employees to the leave if the child was a party to the crime that led to their death; and
- extension of the definition of “parent.”
Note that the meaning of “parent” for the leave for victims of family violence (paid and unpaid) has also been updated.
For more information:
Note that the definition of “parent” for domestic violence leave (paid and unpaid) has also been amended.
Leave for medical reasons
Implementation: at the same time as changes to EI sickness benefits (not set)
Bill C-30 also extends medical leave from 17 weeks to 27 weeks to align with the extension of EI sickness benefits. This would reflect the new maximum duration of 26 weeks and the one-week waiting period.
Effective date: September 29, 2021
Employees will have more time off to grieve and plan for practical necessities, such as funeral arrangements and notifying family and friends.
Once in force, the amendments will:
- extend the maximum length of bereavement leave from five to 10 days; and
- expand eligibility for the leave, making it available to employees who are on compassionate care leave or leave related to critical illness when the family member they are caring for passes away.
Regarding any of the holidays mentioned above, if they do not already apply in the collective agreements, our members will now be able to benefit from them.
Call for tenders leading to the award of a contract
Effective date: June 29, 2021
Part I (Labour Relations) of the Canada Labour Code now extends equal remuneration protection to more employees in the federally regulated air transportation sector working at airports. This will ensure that employees affected by contract retendering are not paid less than what was provided for under the previous collective agreement if they undertake the same, or substantially similar, work.
To find information on applications or complaints under Part I of the Code, visit the Canada Industrial Relations Board’s website.
This part is very important to all our members who are under contract. Members at airports, ports or others in the private sector will now have a more stable future in terms of pay and job security. Even though a tender is now open to the public, our members will be able to continue to benefit from the provisions of their previous collective agreement and to make long-term plans. As a result, because their future is now certain, there will be less anxiety in the workplace. Long-term security is what is important.
In short, it is important that we recognize the expertise of our members in the private sector. We are very excited about the implementation of these new changes for our members, and the security and stability they will bring.