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To wrap up 2021, we have highlighted key developments in Canadian labour and employment law, with a focus on Ontario:

  1. Bill 27 – Working for Workers Act: On December 2, 2021, the Ontario government passed the Working for Workers Act, 2021, (the “Act“) which introduces significant changes to Ontario’s employment law, including:
    • A Right to Disconnect from Work Policies: Employers subject to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA“) with 25 or more employees must have a written policy which outlines employees’ right to disconnect from work. The term “disconnecting from work” means not engaging in work-related communications (g. emails, calls) and not sending or reviewing any messages, so that employees are free from the performance of work outside of normal working hours. Employers have six months from December 3, 2021 implement the policy.
    • No Non-Compete Agreements: Employers subject to the ESA are prohibited from entering into non-compete agreements with employees. Non-compete agreements are those that prohibit the employee from working for or running a competitive business after the employment relationship has ended.

There is an exception to the prohibition on non-competition agreements in the event of a sale or lease of a business and for executive-level employees.

This amendment to the ESA is deemed to be in force as of October 25, 2021, and all non-compete agreements entered into before this date will remain unaffected. Non-solicitation, confidentiality, and assignment of intellectual property agreements are still permissible.

The Act brings about a number of additional changes that will be relevant for employers which are fully summarized here.

  1. Ontario severance pay obligations are based on global payroll: In Hawkes v Max Aicher (North America) Limited (“Hawkes”), Ontario’s Divisional Court ruled that the $2.5 million payroll threshold for triggering the severance pay provisions under the ESA are based off of an employer’s global payroll. This means that many employers who were not paying severance pay will now have to do so.

Please see our full blog on the decision here.


Continue Reading Top 10 Canadian Labour & Employment Law Developments of 2021

Background

The federal government passed Bill C-3, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Canada Labour Code on December 17, 2021. While Bill C-2 focused on providing support for reasons specifically related to COVID-19, Bill C-3 enhances paid sick leave and bereavement leave under the Canada Labour Code (the “CLC”) not specific to

Background

Just before the end of 2021, the Canadian Government passed Bill C-2, An Act to provide further support in response to COVID-19. Amongst other things, the Bill introduced the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit Act, amended eligibility requirements under the Canada Recovery Benefits Act, and amended the Canada Labour Code to update

Background

On December 9, 2021, the Ontario Government filed a regulation that extended the COVID-19 Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (“Deemed IDEL“) and the temporary measures previously introduced by O. Reg. 228/20: Infectious Disease Emergency Leave under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA“) until July 30, 2022. Further details

And we thought 2020 was a doozy! In terms of continuing challenges, unprecedented questions and shifting legal landscapes, 2021 delivered.

Between maintaining business continuity and keeping your workforce safe, we know there’s been little time to track the rapidly changing labour, employment, and human rights law landscape in Canada.

This two-part webinar series is designed

On December 2, 2021, the Ontario government passed Bill 27, Working for Workers Act, 2021, introducing significant changes to workplace laws. The most significant changes include:

  • Right to Disconnect from Work: Employers, subject to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”), with 25 or more employees, must have a written policy for disconnecting

On May 21, 2021, we reported in a blog post that the British Columbia government passed Bill 13, Employment Standards Amendment Act (No. 2), 2021, which amends the Employment Standards Regulation to add a permanent and paid sick leave program. The Government did not provide details on the leave at that time. However,