December 21, 2021by Israel Foulon LLP
On December 17, 2021, Bill C-3, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Canada Labour Code, (the “Bill”) received Royal Assent and became law. The Bill introduces several changes to Part III of the Canada Labour Code (“CLC”) and provides additional paid sick leave for federally regulated employees. Federally regulated workplaces include, but are not limited to: banks, businesses facilitating cross provincial or international travel or shipping, and telecommunications companies. You can review the complete list of federally regulated industries and workplaces HERE.
Federally regulated employers should carefully review the following changes:
- Thirty (30) days after the provisions come into force, existing employees will earn their first three (3) paid days of medical leave.
- New employees earn three (3) paid medical leave days within thirty (30) days of commencing employment.
- In each calendar year, all employees earn one (1) day of paid medical leave for each month of employment, up to a maximum of ten (10) paid days per calendar year.
- Each paid day of medical leave must be paid at the employee’s regular rate of wages.
- Paid medical leave may be taken in one or more periods, but employers may require that each period of leave be not less than one day in duration.
- Any medical leave day that employees do not take carries forward to January 1 of the following calendar year and decreases, by one, from the maximum number of days that can be earned in that calendar year.
- Employers are permitted to request a medical certificate issued by a health care practitioner for paid medical leaves of absence that are five (5) days or longer, and must make the request in writing no later than fifteen (15) days after the employee’s return to work
- Employers are permitted to request a medical certificate from a health care practitioner to substantiate unpaid medical leaves of absence that are three (3) days or longer
The changes to the CLC will come into effect at a later date to be fixed by an order of the Governor in Council, to allow time for employers to implement payroll changes, update policies and conduct meetings with unions to update all collective agreements.
Take Away for Federally Regulated Employers
It is important to note that if employers provide more than ten (10) paid sick days as part of company practice or policy or under the terms of a collective agreement, these days may count towards the CLC entitlement, but this should be made clear in the policy and/or collective agreement.
Employers should review their existing workplace contracts and/or policies, to ensure they comply with the legislative amendments. We recommend you contact us for any questions, and to assist with updating your contracts and/or policies.
Israel Foulon Wong’s Response to COVID-19 Israel Foulon Wong LLP is assessing the situation as it evolves, and is taking all necessary precautions within its workplace. To slow the spread of COVID-19 and for the health of our team and clients we are working remotely when possible. However, please be aware that our offices remain open and are fully functioning and we are holding in person meetings as required. In the circumstances, we encourage our clients to contact us by phone and email to the extent possible. Voicemail messages left at our office phone numbers are immediately forwarded via email. All messages will be promptly responded to. We remain steadfast in our commitment to our clients and would be more than happy to assist you with concerns regarding COVID-19 or any other employment or labour matters.