New legislation has been passed, resulting in several changes to the Canada Labour Code that directly affect federally regulated employers.

For the purpose of clarity, the below changes do not impact provincially regulated employers.

New Minimum Wage: Effective December 29, 2021, the new federal minimum wage is $15.00 per hour. If an employee works in a jurisdiction with a higher provincial or territorial minimum wage, the employee would remain entitled to the greater of the two hourly rates. The new federal minimum wage, with very few exceptions, will be adjusted upwards annually based on the Consumer Price Index for Canada.

COVID-19 Leave: Effective June 19, 2021, the maximum length of the existing unpaid leave related to COVID-19 for caregiving responsibilities is 42 weeks in total (previously was 38 weeks). This leave is applicable to employees who are unable to work because they must care for a child under the age of 12 or a family member who requires care due to COVID-19 (including if a person’s school or care facility is closed).

Medical Leave: Employees may now take up to 27 weeks unpaid for a medical leave of absence (previously 17 weeks). The new legislation also added quarantine to the list of reasons for which a request for medical leave of absence is justified.

Bereavement Leave: Effective September 29, 2021, employees who have experienced a death in the family may take up to 10 days of bereavement leave (previous was 5 days). For employees who have completed three months of service, the first 3 days of leave are with pay.

The bereavement leave can be taken in separate periods, but must be taken during the period that begins on the day on which the death occurs and ends 6 weeks after the latest of the days on which any funeral, burial, or memorial service of the deceased person occurs.

Leave Related to the Death or Disappearance of a Child: Effective June 29, 2021, the leave related to the death or disappearance of a child was extended to 104 weeks (previously was 52 weeks). In addition, this leave was revised to extend the eligibility for leave to parents or guardians of children who are under 25 years of age (previously under 18 years of age).

Federally regulated employers should review their new obligations in order to ensure that their operations and responses to employee requests are compliant in accordance with the revised Canada Labour Code.

As always, we encourage you to contact e2r™ should you have any questions regarding this legislation and how it may impact your workplace.