Legislative Updates:


Bill C-45 and Bill 525 – Amendments to the Canada Labour Code

New formula for holiday pay

The Jobs and Growth Act, 2012 (“Bill C-45”), amended the Canada Labour Code (“Code”) on March 16, 2015 to simplify the formula for calculating holiday pay for all employees of federally regulated employers, replacing the various formulae that have been used to date.

It should be noted that this new calculation may lead to additional costs for employers.

Vote-based majority for certifications and de-certifications processes

Under Bill C-525, new rules on union certification for federally regulated employers will take effect June 16, 2015. Bill C-525 amends the Code, the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act and the Public Service Labour Relations Act to provide that the certification and decertification of a bargaining agent must be achieved by a secret ballot vote-based majority.


Reminder: Your January 1, 2015 AODA Compliance Obligations

January 1, 2015 marked the deadline for public and private sector employers with less than 50 employees to have fulfilled certain obligations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (“AODA”).

Also beginning this year, public and private sector employers with over 50 employees must also satisfy specific requirements under the AODA.

Failure to comply can expose an organization to administrative penalties (which can range between $500 to $15,000).


Amendments to the Employment Standards Act –

Elimination of Cap on Wages Due and Time Limit for Wage Recovery Extension


On February 20, 2015, under the Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, 2014, the following amendments to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “Act”) came into force:


Elimination of cap on wages due to employees


In respect of any unpaid wages that came due on or after February 20, 2015, there is now no limit on the amount of wages due that an employee can recover under the Act.


Time limits for recovery of wages

The time limits were increased from six months to two years. An employment standards officer may not issue an order for wages due to the employee if the wages became due more than two years before the complaint was filed.

For employers, these amendments provide greater protection for employees under the Act and may lead to an increase in the number of claims made.