MILLAR KREKLEWETZ LLP is a boutique Canadian law firm with lawyers who have expertise in assisting businesses with Canadian employment standards matters.
The following is a short introduction to our services in this area.
Employment standards sets out the minimum standards that employers and employees must follow, including hours of work and overtime, minimum wage, vacation requirements, parental leave, family medical leave, and termination of employment and severance pay.
In Canada , both the federal Parliament of Canada and the provincial legislatures have the power to enact labour laws with respect to employment standards. The provincial and federal governments jurisdiction to enact labour laws (and employment standards) arise from sections 91 and 92 of Canada s Constitution Act, 1867. These sections give the provinces major jurisdiction to legislate in this field, while the federal authority is limited.
Employment Standards Federal
At the federal level, employment standards (as well as other labour laws) are generally provided under the Canada Labour Code (the CLC). However, other statutes may need to be considered as well, such the Fair Wages and Hours of Labour Act, which governs public works and employees on government contracts.
The CLC pertains to the employees of the federal government, as well as to employees of businesses regulated by the federal government, including air transportation, radio and television broadcasting, and banks.
Occupational health and safety standards are set out in Part II of the CLC. Part III of the CLC is divided into 16 divisions, and provides the general requirements for employment standards. Most notably, Divisions I, II, and III deal with the number of hours of work, minimum wage, and equal wage (i.e., discriminatory wage practices), respectively, and Divisions IV and V pertain to annual vacations and general holidays. Also, Divisions IX to XII, XIV set out the procedures for the termination of employees.
Employment Standards Ontario
Employment standards are enforced under by each province under their own legislation, and generally apply to all employees that work in the province that do not fall within the jurisdiction of the federal parliament.
In Ontario, employment standards are governed by the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the ESA). The Employment Standards Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Labour is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the ESA. Further, Ontario s Occupational Health and Safety Act and regulations provide a number of obligations on employers, including a duty to instruct, inform and supervise workers to maintain their health and safety.
Similar to Part III of the CLC, the ESA establishes the following employment standards:
- minimum standards for hours of work;
- minimum wages;
- overtime pay;
- public holidays;
- vacation with pay;
- termination and severance pay;
- rights to pregnancy and parental leave;
- non-discrimination in employment-related benefit plans;
- equal pay for equal work;
- employee protection from dismissal if wages are subject to garnishment;
- protection against the use of lie detector tests; and
- ability to refuse Sunday work.
Millar Kreklewetz LLP has advised public and private sector businesses on compliance with federal and provincial employment standards regulations, and employers finding themselves with any issues inherent in their files are encouraged to contact us for more infomation.