Updates to Canada Labour Code?
As of July 9, 2023, amendments to the Canada Labour Code have taken effect, placing new statutory obligations on federally regulated employers.
What are the amendments?
Federally regulated employers are now required to reimburse employees for reasonable work-related expenses and provide employees with a written statement containing information about their employment (i.e., job title, description of duties and responsibilities, hours of work, and mandatory deductions from wages).
What are reimbursements for reasonable work-related expenses?
The Canada Labour Standards Regulations suggest employers determine whether an expense is “reasonable” and “work-related” by examining if it:
- Enabled the employee to perform their work;
- Was incurred in good faith; and
- Was incurred for a legitimate business purpose (not personal use or enjoyment).
If the expenses are work-related and reasonable, an employer must reimburse the employee within 30 days of their submitted claim for payment (unless a written agreement details otherwise).
In a non-unionized environment, an employer is not required to reimburse any payments required under a written agreement. In a unionized environment, an employer is not required to reimburse any payments required under a governing collective agreement or other written agreements between the trade union and employer.
What must employers know about written statements with employment information?
Written statements must be provided to existing employees by October 7th, 2023 (90 days after the amendment took effect) and within 30 days of employment for all new hires. If the nature of an employee’s work changes, the employer must provide an updated statement within 30 days of the modification.
Employers must also give employees copies of all materials from the Minister of Labour regarding employer and employee rights and obligations under the CLC (following the same timelines for existing employees and new hires detailed above). The material should also be posted in a readily accessible place.
Terminated employees must also be provided with current materials published by the Minister regarding their termination.
How can an employer benefit from legal advice regarding the changes to federal employment standards?
To ensure compliance with the amendments and avoid potential consequences, federally regulated employers should review their expense reimbursement policies and any onboarding or termination practices.
We at Whitten & Lublin are happy to provide insight and advice into your specific circumstances. If you are looking for employment lawyers and would like more information about what Whitten & Lublin can do for you, please contact us online or by phone at (416) 640-2667 today.
Author – Ciara