Last updated on May 25th, 2023 at 01:24 pm
Employment Laws of Canada 2023
Canada instituted a new federal minimum wage of $16.65 per hour on April 1, 2023. Previously, workers were subject to the minimum wage of whatever province or territory they worked in. Minimum wage is different in each province and territory.
With the rise in the federal minimum wage, employers must now pay their employees whichever rate is higher between the federal minimum wage and the minimum wage in their province/territory of operation.
The standard hours of work for the employees or student intern are 8 hours in a day and 40 hours in a week. In most cases, the maximum hours of work allowable in a week is 48 however, after the standard 8 hours daily or 40 hours weekly, employers must compensate employees with overtime pay. The exact amount depends on the employee’s regular schedule, role, and what is agreed upon in the contract.
Break Rights: Employees are entitled to a 30-minute unpaid meal break for every five hours of work (one hour in Newfoundland and Labrador). Employees are also entitled to one full day of rest each week, which usually falls on a Sunday. In British Columbia and Quebec, an employee must have at least 32 straight hours free from work each week.
Overtime compensation: When working overtime an employee is entitled to pay of at least 1.5 times the regular hourly wage, or time off with pay, equivalent to 1.5 hours of time off for every hour worked (for example, 5 hours of overtime worked = 7.5 hours of time off with pay).
As of December 31, 2022, workers who have been continuously employed for at least 30 days will have access to their first three days of paid sick leave. Starting on February 1, 2023, workers will acquire a fourth day of paid sick leave and will continue to accumulate one day of paid sick leave on the first day of each month following, up to a maximum of 10 days per year.
Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits: Employees and self-employed persons who contribute to Canada’s Employment Insurance (EI) plan will now have access to expanded Employment Insurance sickness benefits. Those who made their claim on or after December 18, 2022, may receive up to 26 weeks of EI sickness benefits, extended from the previous limit of 15 weeks. Qualified individuals can receive 55% of their insurable earnings, up to a maximum of $650 a week. To qualify for EI sickness benefits, claimants must show that:
Maternity Leave: Different maternity or pregnancy leave entitlements exist in each Canadian jurisdiction, with a pregnant employee being entitled to up to 16 to 18 weeks unpaid leave if she has accumulated a certain length of service with the employer.
Paternity leave: Fathers are entitled to take parental leave pursuant to the employment standards legislation in their jurisdiction. The entitlement to parental leave is not just limited to fathers but extends to mothers and adoptive parents. Parental leave in Canada typically can be taken for 35 to 65 weeks depending on the jurisdiction and whether the employee has also taken pregnancy leave.
EI Maternity and Parental Benefits:
Employers will be most concerned about a new criminal provision under the Competition Act, which will come into effect on June 23, 2023. The provision prohibits employers from agreeing to fix, maintain, decrease, or control wages or other employment conditions, or to refrain from soliciting or hiring each other’s employees.