Tag archives: collective agreement

Dans le cadre de négociations collectives au Québec, l’employeur peut-il communiquer directement avec les salariés afin de faire une mise au point ?

Dans une décision[1] rendue en juillet dernier, le Tribunal administratif du travail (le TAT) s’est penché sur l’équilibre qui, à l’occasion d’une ronde de négociations pour le renouvellement d’une convention collective, doit exister entre, d’une part, le devoir de non-ingérence de l’employeur et, d’autre part, son droit à la libre expression.

Quels sont les faits dans cette affaire ?

Dans cette affaire, une offre globale et finale avait été présentée par l’employeur, que notre équipe représentait, après quarante-deux (42) séances de négociation. Le syndicat avait alors informé ses membres du dépôt de cette offre, sans toutefois en préciser … Continue Reading

France implements new social measures to face the pandemic

The first COVID-19 cases appeared in France a few weeks ago and French people have been in lockdown since March 17. The repercussions of this pandemic are significant, and the Government has been authorized, by Emergency Act No. 2020-290 of 23 March 2020, to take measures through ordinances (which means that no debate is required before Parliament, and the ordinances are voted directly by the Council of Ministers).

Several ordinances on employment-related matters were adopted by the Council of Ministers on 27 March 2020, and published. A decree was also issued to extend the rules of reduction in activity (short-time … Continue Reading

Les Interprétations, politiques et guides fournissent des lignes directrices pratiques aux employeurs en lien avec les modifications du 1er septembre 2019 du Code canadien du travail

Le 1er septembre 2019, une série de nouvelles modifications apportées au Code canadien du travail (« Code ») sont entrées en vigueur et ont eu une incidence sur les heures de travail et repos, les heures supplémentaires, l’assouplissement des conditions d’emploi, les congés annuels bonifiés ainsi que les congés rémunérés et non rémunérés. Le Programme du travail du gouvernement fédéral a publié depuis de nombreuses Interprétations, politiques et guides (« IPG ») qui visent à fournir des lignes directrices sous forme de politiques en vue de promouvoir une interprétation cohérente de la législation et une mise en œuvre efficace … Continue Reading

Interpretations, Policies and Guidelines offer practical guidance to employers on the September 1, 2019 amendments under Canada Labour Code

On September 1, 2019, a series of new amendments under the Canada Labour Code (“Code”) came into force, affecting hours of work and rest, overtime, flexible work arrangements, enhanced vacation entitlements, paid leaves and unpaid leaves. The federal government’s Labour Program has since published a number of Interpretations, Policies and Guidelines (“IPGs”), whose aim is to provide policy-based guidance to promote the consistent interpretation of legislation and effective delivery of programs across Canada. For more information on the September 1, 2019 amendments themselves, please consult the following Norton Rose Fulbright Canada resources:

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Hausse du salaire minimum au Québec

À compter du 1er mai 2020, le salaire minimum au Québec sera haussé de 0,60 $ l’heure, pour atteindre 13,10 $ l’heure, soit une augmentation de 4,8 % par rapport au salaire minimum en vigueur (12,50 $ l’heure)[i]. Le Québec emboîte ainsi le pas à l’Alberta, à l’Ontario et à la Colombie-Britannique en haussant le salaire minimum au-dessus de la barre de 13 $ l’heure. Cette hausse touchera 409 100 travailleurs au Québec. Alors que certains y voient une augmentation du pouvoir d’achat des travailleurs à faible revenu, d’autres y voient un effort insuffisant de la part … Continue Reading

Enterprise bargaining and the 7 day access period

There are a number of timelines under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) to be aware of when making and applying for approval of a single enterprise agreement.  If these timelines are not complied with, it is likely that the agreement will not be approved by the Fair Work Commission (FWC).  One such timeline relates to the access period.  The access period is the 7-day period ending immediately before the start of the voting process for the proposed agreement.… Continue Reading

First-ever ‘Riders’ Statute’ signed in Bologna, giving food delivery company riders a set of minimum standards of protection

On 31 May 2018, at the City Hall of Bologna (the fourth most populous city in northern Italy), the city’s mayor, representatives of Italy’s three main workers unions (CGIL, CISL and UIL), and two food delivery companies active in Bologna (Sgnam and Mymenu) met and signed the “Paper of fundamental rights of the digital worker in the urban environment.” (the Riders’ Statute). The Riders’ Statute aims to grant riders who work for food delivery companies (Riders) a set of minimum standards of protection. Absent from this important meeting (and list of signatories) were the largest food … Continue Reading

French employment code reform: Focus on collective negotiation

On September 22, 2017, French President Emmanuel Macron signed five ordinances making important changes to several aspects of the French employment code. The ordinances, which were immediately published in the French Official Journal on September 23rd, 2017, are aimed in particular at providing employers more flexibility and predictability in labour-management relations.

Several provisions of this ambitious reform (the “Reform”) – numbering 159 pages and providing for 36 measures – are already in force.

These texts have now been supplemented by a further ordinance (published in the French Official Journal on December 21st, 2017) and by a number of decrees (published … Continue Reading

Collective agreements may prevail over some Bill 148 scheduling provisions

Those of you who have been following this series of blogs will know that Bill 148 ESA amendments generally apply to unionized workplaces as of the effective date of the particular amendment.  There are a few limited exceptions, however.

In yesterday’s post, we addressed how employers with unionized employees may find temporary relief from the Bill 148 “equal pay for equal work” amendments.

In this post we explain the three circumstances in which a collective agreement in effect on January 1, 2019 may temporarily prevail over corresponding on-call and scheduling provisions in Bill 148.

1. Minimum pay for being on Continue Reading

“Equal pay for equal work” provisions in a collective agreement may prevail over Bill 148 ESA amendments

As we explained in yesterday’s post, the Bill 148 amendments to the ESA minimum standards will generally apply to unionized workplaces as of the effective date of the particular amendment.

However, there are two circumstances in which a collective agreement provision in effect on April 1, 2018 will temporarily prevail over certain Bill 148 amendments requiring “equal pay for equal work”.

 1. Difference in employment status (ESA s.42.1)

Under the Bill 148 reforms, an employer is prohibited from paying part-time, casual and other employees who do not have regular full-time status at a lower rate than what it pays to … Continue Reading

Significant changes to French employment code to enter into force no later than January 1st, 2018

French President Emmanuel Macron has signed five ordinances making important changes to several aspects of the French employment code. The ordinances, which were immediately published in the French Official Journal on September 23rd, 2017, are aimed in particular at providing employers more flexibility and predictability in labour-management relations.

Several provisions of this ambitious reform – numbering 159 pages and providing for 36 measures – are already in force.

The amendments to existing legislation effected by the Ordinances are built around the following principles defined by the French Government:

  • giving precedence to micro-businesses (TPE) and to small and medium-sized companies (PME);
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What is the latest on employees’ rights in the event of redundancy in Germany?

In business, the restructuring of a company (such as by the closure of an individual business unit or a necessary reduction in the number of staff) may result in an employee’s redundancy. However, dismissing an employee by reason of redundancy has strict prerequisites under German law.

The main requirements which must be observed under German law for a dismissal based on redundancy are as follows:

  • In business units with more than ten employees (more than five if hired before 31 December 2003), and if an employee has been at the company for more than six months, a specific justification for
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The (latest) reform of the French employment code is ongoing

As part of candidate Emmanuel Macron’s program during the Presidential elections campaign, a substantial reform of the French employment Code was promised. After his election as President, French commentators anticipated new changes would be implemented quickly, given Emmanuel Macron’s indications that he wished to go ahead as soon as possible, without too much debate before the French Parliament.

This reform is now on track, and will be implemented through a specific procedure:

  • an “enabling” law (loi d’habilitation) shall be voted by Parliament to set a specific framework for the reform;
  • ordinances (ordonnances) will be published after
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Overtime Entitlement Did Not Extend to Time Spent at Labour Management Meetings

In Fabrene Inc. v International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Local Lodge 2922 employees who were Union Grievance Committee (“UGC”) members unsuccessfully argued that the hours they spent attending Labour Management meetings on their days off constituted compensable overtime.

Factual Background

The UGC members worked 12-hour day shifts on Monday and Tuesday, 12-hour night shifts on Thursday and Friday, and attended Labour Management meetings on Wednesday, their scheduled day off.  The meetings – which were held on the third Wednesday of each month at 1:30 p.m. – varied in length from 1 to 3 hours and addressed … Continue Reading

Key employment law developments expected in 2017

A significant amount of new employment legislation is expected or is already in place for 2017. Key changes will be in the hiring of temporary workers through an agency (referred to as “personnel leasing” in Germany), employee protection and equal treatment.

Reform of laws regarding personnel leasing

One of the main developments in 2017 will be the long expected reform of the German Act on Temporary Employment (Arbeitnehmerüberlassungsgesetz – AÜG), as well as other related laws, with effect from 01 April 2017. Aiming to reinforce the rights of temporary workers during personnel leasing and in particular to prevent … Continue Reading

Key French employment law developments in 2017

As 2017 is a Presidential election year in France, we do not expect major changes in employment legislation to occur in France in the near future.  However, this does not mean that French employment lawyers will be unoccupied.

First and foremost, the El Khomri law (dated 8 August 2016), which significantly modified the employment law landscape in France, is progressively coming into effect: a number provisions only entered into force on 1st January 2017, and implementing decrees are still awaited in a number of areas.

The main measures which have come into force on 1st January 2017 are:

  • New
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What rights do workers have to rest breaks in Germany?

This post was also contributed by Sebastian Kutzner, Trainee, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP (Munich).

Due to increasing demands for a work life balance, uncertainty as to employees’ rights to rest periods, in particular, is widespread. German law distinguishes between two types of rest periods:

  • Rest breaks (to be granted during working time); and
  • Resting time (the period between two working days)

Subject to special rules for different industries both are regulated by the German Working Time Act (Arbeitszeitgesetz). During both periods employees cannot be required to work but must be free to use this time for their own … Continue Reading

Federal unionized employers – Proposal for anti-scab provisions rejected

In March 2016, we issued a legal update discussing Private Member’s Bill C-234. This Bill, tabled by the NDP, proposed the introduction in the Canada Labour Code of measures comparable to the anti-scab provisions contained in the Québec Labour Code.

This NDP proposition was undertaken to support longstanding unions’ demands – in the past, similar initiatives were attempted at least 14 times without ever passing the stage of first reading.

In the case of this new offensive, the second reading was held in the House of Commons on September 28, 2016. By a vote of 217 against 47, the … Continue Reading

Recent Ontario decision confirms that social media spaces are part of the workplace

The Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 113 v. Toronto Transit Commission (Use of Social Media Grievance), [2016] O.L.A.A. No. 267 decision deals with the use of social media in the workplace, and to what extent employers are required to manage their accounts in a way that protects their employees.

The employer created a Twitter account for the purpose of communicating with customers regarding service inquiries and concerns.  Although most ‘tweets’ were legitimate requests for information, the Arbitrator accepted that a minority were vulgar, offensive, abusive, racist, homophobic, sexist, and/or threatening.  The union took issue with the employer’s handling of these ‘tweets’, … Continue Reading

NLRB allows student assistants to form union

In the much anticipated Columbia University decision, the National Labor Relations Board reversed its most recent precedent and held that student teaching assistants at private colleges and universities are statutory employees under the National Labor Relations Act and may therefore vote to form a union.  This decision is a return to an earlier decision by the Board which overturned a decade-old standard of viewing student teaching assistants as students rather than a part of the teaching faculty.  This decision is sure to invite a rush of union organizing efforts at private universities and colleges across the country.

The Board’s decision … Continue Reading

What’s in a grade?  


The beginning of summer break for students across Ontario also means the release of their final grades. While student evaluation is only one part of a teacher’s job, it is crucial for the integrity of the school system and for students’ post-secondary education opportunities. In the recent decision Fernandes v Peel Educational & Tutorial Services Ltd., the Ontario Court of Appeal stressed the importance of proper grading techniques for teachers in private schools.

Mr. Fernandes was employed as a teacher at a private school in Mississauga offering pre-kindergarten to grade 12 classes. During the course of his employment, … Continue Reading

Testing the limits of reasonableness: Alberta Court quashes arbitration decision on random drug testing.

In the recent decision of Suncor Energy Inc v Unifor Local 707A, 2016 ABQB 269 [Suncor] the Court of Queen’s Bench found that an arbitration board’s decision was unreasonable and sent it back for rehearing by a fresh panel.

The decision stems from the implementation of a random drug and alcohol testing policy in 2012. Following implementation, the Union grieved and the issue went to arbitration. At arbitration, the Majority of the Board concluded that the safety benefit of the policy was outweighed by the harm to employee privacy rights and rejected the policy. The Company applied to … Continue Reading

Reform of the German Law on Temporary Employment

This post was also contributed by Bastian Semmel, International Trainee, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP (Frankfurt).

With effect from 1 January 2017, the German legislation on temporary employment will be reformed, as the Federal Cabinet recently passed a draft law regarding this matter on 1 June 2016. These changes are designed to address the misuse of temporary employment and to strengthen the position of temporary employees. The following article provides a short overview of the main modifications that will be made to the German Law on Temporary Employment (Arbeitnehmerüberlassungsgesetz – AÜG).

In future, a temporary employee will only be … Continue Reading

Arbitrator Upholds Termination of Nurse for Patient Privacy Breaches

There is a growing body of arbitral jurisprudence upholding summary dismissal of employees who breached workplace codes of conduct, confidentiality and privacy policies by deliberately snooping into co-worker or client records without any legitimate purpose and for reasons of their own.  A number of these cases have concerned privacy breaches by hospital employees.  Ontario Nurses’ Association v. Norfolk General Hospital, 2015 CanLII 62332, is a fairly recent example.

The case involved a registered nurse who had been employed for 12 years at the Norfolk General Hospital in Simcoe, Ontario.  Her job required her to enter patient care notes and use … Continue Reading