Employment Law Changes To Expect In 2019
On the legal front employees will be getting some good tidings – and a few kicks in the grapes.
Excellent news to start the year: some juicy employment law changes are planned. A new paid holiday. Better parental leave. Pay equity regardless of your junk.
Several skeevy updates scheduled too. Especially in Ontario. The current provincial government seems hell-bent on restoring indentured labour. A boon to employers. Regressive for peons.
Anyway, let’s start with the good stuff.
Equal Pay For Equal Work
Whether female, male, or non-binary, Canada’s Feds got your back. They introduced a Pay Equity Act in late 2018. It’ll ensure more working women are fairly comped.
For now, it’s aimed at federally regulated workplaces. That includes the Fed public service, Fed private sector, Parliamentary and Ministers’ offices.
Extra Five-Weeks of EI for Sharing Parental Leave
Last September the Feds launched Gender Equality Week. It came with a measure that improves maternity leaves.
Right now women make 85 percent of all parental leave claims. A bummer for career advancement.
This new measure adds five more weeks of Employment Insurance. The dealio? Gotta share your time off. Let the other parent burp more babies, change poopy diapers, go gaga talking goo-goo. Begins March 2019.
Another Statutory Holiday
Everyone loves a paid day away. By mid to late this year there’ll be a new federal one, National Indigenous Peoples Day. Perf opp to learn more about cultural diversity (and achievements) of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.
The Right To Disconnect From Work
Tired of being tied to a tablet or smartphone after office hours? France made headlines two years ago being first to pass a “right to disconnect” law. Staff can now blow off job-related emails, texts and phone calls once the workday ends. No blowback allowed.
Canada’s got a chance to create similar disconnect rules. Talk is they’ll add ‘em to 2020 Labour Code updates this fall. Only federally-regulated industries (e.g. transport, banking and telecommunications) – about 6% of the country’s workforce – would be shielded. But it’s a solid beginning.
Each province and territory has its own labour laws on top of Fed legislation. Watch for several positive developments.
Quebec, for instance, has Bill No 176. It says workplaces must have a psychological harassment prevention and complaint processing policy. Sexual harassment’s been clearly defined. More generous leave entitlements also kick in.
As for Nova Scotia? Like some other provinces, there’ll be no more waiting period with pregnancy/parental leave. Plus domestic violence leave for eligible employees will get going.
Provincial Penalties Too
Woe to workers in Ontario. Two late 2018 statutes gutted earlier upped protections. Bill 47 reads like it was crafted by Lord Voldemort. It scraps a minimum pay increase, wrecks work schedule change requests and repeals required to pay for being on call. And for fun, Bill 57 got rid of the Pay Transparency Act.
Easy come, easy go Ontario. Maybe 2020’ll be the charm.