Bill C-86 Receives Royal Assent – Changes Canada Labour Code and New Pay Equity Act

Bill C-86 Receives Royal Assent – Changes Canada Labour Code and New Pay Equity Act

On December 13, 2018, Bill C-86 received Royal Assent resulting in many changes to the Canada Labour Code and creation of a new Pay Equity Act.  Many of the changes will be implemented on September 1, 2019. Others changes will be in force at a date to be determined by Order in Council (likely sometime in 2019).

Canada Labour Code

Bill C-86 makes sweeping changes to the Canada Labour Code including amendments related to rest periods, meal breaks, scheduling, increased vacation, added leaves, increased notice upon termination and changes to the unjust dismissal provisions, just to name a few. For example, an employer will be required to provide the employee’s work schedule 96 hours before the start of the first shift under the schedule, failing which an employee will be entitled to refuse to work any shift during the first 96 hour period following the release of the schedule. There are several new leaves such as Leave for Victims of Family Violence (up to 5 days of paid leave), Leave for Court or Jury Duty, Medical Leave (up to 17 weeks of absence for personal illness) and Personal Leave (up to 5 days, with 3 days being paid days) for illness or other urgent matters involving family members.

Pay Equity Act

Some of the highlights of the new legislation include the requirement for employers to create a “pay equity plan” where employers are expected to identify, evaluate and eliminate differences in compensation between female and male jobs or equal or proportionate value. The Act also establishes a Pay Equity Commissioner who will have the power to enforce the Act and make orders in respect of it.  The Act will come into force at a date still to be determined.

If you are a federally regulated employer, these changes are significant. For more information about all of the changes, feel free to contact us.