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Employment Standards

The Federal government (Canada Labour Code) and each of the Provincial governments (various Employment Standards Acts) have jurisdiction over minimum employment standards that govern the country.  This legislation sets minimum conditions of employment while outlining the rights of employees within their relationship with their employer.

The key areas of the legislation outline minimum standards for:

Hours of Work:  The maximum number of hours of work per day/week (generally 8 hours per day to weekly maximum of 40 to 48 hours per week) and the point at which overtime must be paid typically at 1.5 times the regular rate.

Public Holidays: The number of statutory holidays outlined by both Federal and Provincial governments that employees are entitled to each year.  The legislation does not prevent employers from requiring that employees work on statutory holidays, however establishes specific rules that must be followed.  For example, the employee must be paid at the regular rate of pay with a premium, or be allowed to take a day off in lieu of time worked.

Annual Vacation: The number of weeks per year that employees are able to take time off with a minimum level of pay.  The Canada Labour Code requires that federal employers provide employees at least 2 weeks of paid vacation following one year of employment.  Each of the Provincial governments provide for the same requirements.  The rate of pay and length of annual paid vacation for longer service employees varies by Province.

Termination of Employment:  Employees are to be provided of advance notice of termination, and in some Provinces, severance, when employment is terminated

Leaves:  Employees are protected by Federal legislation with regards to job-protected leave as it relates to maternity, adoption, parental or other personal leaves.  Minimum periods of leave of absence and reinstatement of after leave without loss of seniority or benefits.

Wages: The Federal and Provincial governments establish a minimum wage rate that is payable in Canada for different classes of workers.

Equal Pay for Equal Work: Employers are not allowed to differentiate between male and female employees that perform the same work that requires the same skill and responsibility performed under similar working conditions.

Discrimination: The Canada Labour Code prohibits discrimination on the same basis as outlined in Federal Human Rights legislation.

Privacy:  All information collected from individuals as it relates to income security programs such as Old Age Security, the Canada Pension Plan, the Privacy Act and various Provincial statutes regulating public sector collection of private individual information, is legally protected and confidential.  Information collected for employer-sponsored group insurance and employee benefit plans by insurance providers or third-party administrators is legally protected by the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and various Provincial legislation regulating private sector collection of personal private data.