COVID-19 has caused the need for many employees to work remotely, and some employees are choosing to travel interprovincially to cottages, family homes, and other destinations for their remote work. In this situation, which province’s legislation applies to you when your employer is in one province, and you are working remotely from another province?
This is important to know because, unless your employment is governed by the federal Canada Labour Code, provincial legislation governs your rights and responsibilities as an employee, for example, the amount of minimum wage, vacation time, and leaves to which you are entitled.
If you report for work in person, your province of employment is the province in which you report for work. For example, if you physically go into work in Ontario, the Ontario Employment Standards Act (the “ESA”) will govern your employment.
However, if your employer is based in Ontario but you continue working remotely from another province, say British Columbia (BC), you’ll need to examine Ontario’s and British Columbia’s employment standards legislation to determine which provincial legislation applies to you.
Section 3 of the ESA provides that the ESA applies to an employee and the employer if:
(a) the employee’s work is to be performed in Ontario; or
(b) the employee’s work is to be performed in Ontario and outside Ontario, but the work performed outside Ontario is a continuation of work performed in Ontario
In the example above, it is likely that your employment will be governed by the Ontario ESA if you are performing the same work you were performing prior to the move to BC. However, keep in mind that it will ultimately come down to whether the work you are doing constitutes a “continuation of work performed in Ontario”.
If you have questions about what legislation governs your remote employment, we encourage employees and employers to seek legal advice. 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: Keagan Davis-Burns