Bill C-86, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (the “Bill”), received Royal Assent on December 13, 2018. As noted in our previous publications on the Bill’s amendments to the Canada Labour Code (the “Code”) and the introduction of the new (proactive) Pay Equity Act, significant cost and resource-intensive changes to the federal sphere of employment, labour and human rights law are now at every federally-regulated employer’s doorstep.

The Bill provides that many of the amendments to the Canada Labour Code will not come into force before September 1, 2019, at the earliest, including those pertaining to group termination notices, equal pay for equal work, the burden of proof for determining who is an “employee”, vacation and holiday pay, unpaid leave for pregnant or nursing women, work scheduling, and shift breaks.

Other changes to the Code may come sooner, or possibly later, as they are to come into force at date fixed by order of the Governor in Council, including aggregate parental leave entitlements, individual termination notices, reimbursement of work-related expenses obligations, personal leaves, and requirements to provide materials on employee rights and obligations. Significantly, the coming into force of the new Pay Equity Act and related changes to the Canadian Human Rights Act, will also come into force at a date fixed by order of the Governor in Council.

Lastly, we note that the Department for Women and Gender Equality Act is now in force, which replaces the former department of Status of Women Canada, currently headed by Minister Monsef.

As the year comes to an end, and businesses look onwards to 2019, employers would do well to consider whether their current procedures and policies need to be amended to ensure compliance with the Bill’s important amendments.

The author would like to thank Crystal Li, articling student in Ottawa, for her contribution to this publication.

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