In Canada, labour and employment relations are, for the most part, governed by the laws of the province in which an employee works. The term “labour relations” is used to refer to the union context, while “employment relations” is a general term covering employment laws and practices which are not specific to trade unions. Federal jurisdiction in the labour and employment field is limited to federal works or undertakings, including interprovincial transportation, telecommunications, broadcasting and banking. All other businesses are provincially regulated. A manufacturing operation, for example, with plants in different provinces may, therefore, find itself subject to the laws of several jurisdictions.
Notwithstanding the different jurisdictions, as a general rule, all Canadian jurisdictions are consistent in overall direction. However, the specifics of legislation and the administering agencies vary greatly from province to province.
In some jurisdictions, directors and officers of a corporation may be held personally liable for a variety of matters relating to labour and employment law. For example, in Ontario, directors of a corporation may be jointly and severally liable to the employees of the corporation for up to six months’ unpaid wages and 12 months’ vacation pay. Directors may also be exposed to liability under occupational health and safety legislation for failure of a corporation to comply with safety regulations. In Quebec, they can be jointly liable for up to six months unpaid wages (including vacation pay).
Additional posts from the blog
The Government of Canada has announced that the majority of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) will enter into force on July 1, 2014
The CASL regime is aimed at unsolicited commercial electronic messages (CEMs).
Canada’s first set of harmonized derivatives rules (trade reporting) published by three provinces: Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba
As mandatory reporting of OTC derivative contracts to trade repositories (TRs) (one of the G20 commitments) takes effect globally, the Ontario Securities Commission (the “OSC”), the Quebec Autorité des marchés financiers (the “AMF”) and the Manitoba Securities Commission (the “MSC”) on November 14, 2013, simultaneously published the first province-specific set of harmonized derivatives rules (the “Rules”) in Canada.
In this presentation, Dentons' Jeff Bastien, Andrea Raso and Dana Hooker discuss the appropriate ways to deal with employee absence.