Keep up to date with 2020 employment legislated updates for Ontario, Alberta and BC including employment standards, human rights, privacy, and safety.
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You are invited to provide your input on the proposed Pay Equity Regulations (the Regulations), which have been pre-published in Canada Gazette, Part I. The Regulations will be pre-published for a period of 60 days. The feedback provided during this consultation will be taken into consideration prior to the Regulations being finalized and published in Canada Gazette, Part II.
Deadline for feedback is January 13, 2021.
If you're interested in providing feedback, refer to this website for more information: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/jobs/workplace/human-rights/consultation-pay-equity-regulations.html
Reg. 764/20 came into force on December 17, 2020 that creates a special rule relating to the system in the ESA that governs the interaction between recall rights, termination pay and severance pay.
To support the hospitality industry and other hard-hit industries, the government is creating a special industry regulation allowing employers to negotiate alternative arrangements with unions for putting termination and severance pay into trust for laid-off employees. Employers with laid-off unionized workers need to put all potential termination and severance payments in a trust after 35 weeks while employees wait to be recalled to their jobs.
Refer to this article by law firm, Hicks Morly for more information: https://hicksmorley.com/2020/12/18/temporary-relief-from-termination-and-severance-pay-obligations-provided-to-hospitality-and-other-industries/
Here's a copy of the Regulation: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/r20764
On December 9, 2020, Bill 47: Ensuring Safety and Cutting Red Tape Act, 2020, received Royal Assent and became law in Alberta (the “Act”).
According to an article by Miller Thomson, "the Act makes a number of amendments to workers’ compensation and occupational health and safety legislation in Alberta. Most of the changes to occupational health and safety legislation will take effect upon Proclamation, whereas most of the changes to workers’ compensation legislation will take effect on January 1, 2021 and April 1, 2021".
For changes to the Occupational Health & Safety Act, check this out: https://www.alberta.ca/assets/agency-disclosure/li-occupational-health-and-safety-fact-sheet.pdf
For changes to the Workers' Compensation Act, check this out: https://www.alberta.ca/assets/agency-disclosure/li-workers-compensation-fact-sheet.pdf
For an overview of the Bill, check this out: https://www.alberta.ca/improving-workplace-health-and-safety.aspx#toc-4
Effective January 1, 2021, federally regulated employers covered under Part II of the Canada Labour Code, including but not limited to banks, airports, radio and television broadcasting and cable systems, and the federal public service, will be required to comply with the Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations.
Employers will be required to review and update current policies relating to workplace harassment and violence.
For more information on the new Regulations, check out this reader-friendly write-up by the Canadian HR Reporter: https://www.hrreporter.com/opinion/canadian-hr-law/new-harassment-regulations-what-you-need-to-know/334296
Here's a copy of the new Regulations: https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2020-130/index.html
Ontario has voted to stop the practice of changing the clock back and ahead by an hour. However, the change would be contingent on the Government of Quebec and New York State passing similar laws.
Bill 214, which still needs to receive royal assent from Ontario’s lieutenant governor, would move Ontario to daylight saving time on a permanent basis.
For more information on Bill 214, check out this article in Global News: https://globalnews.ca/news/7485079/ontario-daylight-saving-time-amendment-act/
Here's a copy of Bill 214: https://www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/bills/parliament-42/session-1/bill-214
Bill 154 proclaims the third Friday of June in each year as Stop Cyberbullying in Ontario Day.
Ontario has seen an increase in cases of cyberbullying. Stop Cyberbullying in Ontario Day will increase awareness of the problem of cyberbullying and help lead to its prevention. This is an important Bill as it encourages discussion of cyberbullying in workplaces.
Here's a copy of the new legislation: https://www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/bills/parliament-42/session-1/bill-154
Bill 32 introduces a number of changes to Alberta’s Employment Standards Code and Labour Relations Code.
Changes to the Employment Standards Code effective November 1 include Pay & Payroll, Rest Periods, Youth Employment, Holiday Pay Calculations, Vacation Time and Hours of Work.
For a reader-friendly version of the changes to the Employment Standards Code, please refer to this article by Carbert Waite LLP: https://carbertwaite.com/news-legal-commentary/changes-to-albertas-employment-standards-code/
Official version of the changes: https://www.alberta.ca/restoring-balance-in-albertas-workplaces.aspx
According to the BC Government, the changes to the Workers Compensation Act will provide better support to injured workers and their families and enhance WorkSafeBC’s ability to investigate workplace incidents, while keeping premiums low.
The new legislation contains 34 provisions that include housekeeping amendments and changes relating to compensation, assessment, and occupational health and safety matters.
For more information on the changes, please see the Ministry of Labour’s news release.
News release of the consultation: https://news.ontario.ca/mgs/en/2020/08/ontario-launches-consultations-to-strengthen-privacy-protections-of-personal-data.html
Check out this reader-friendly write-up by Canadian HR Reporter: https://www.hrreporter.com/focus-areas/compensation-and-benefits/b.c.s-makes-major-changes-to-workers-comp/332433
Here's a copy of the new legislation: https://www.leg.bc.ca/parliamentary-business/legislation-debates-proceedings/41st-parliament/5th-session/bills/first-reading/gov23-1
The Ontario government launched consultations to improve the province's privacy protection laws. People and businesses from a wide range of sectors, including technology, financial and service, and the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, will have the opportunity to contribute to strengthening transparency and accountability concerning the collection, use and safeguarding of personal information online.
Through an online survey, written submissions and web conferences, the government is collaborating with the people of Ontario to create a legislative framework for privacy in the province's private sector. Deadline for participating in this consultation is Thursday, October 1.
To participate in the online survey, please click on this link: https://www.ontario.ca/page/consultation-strengthening-privacy-protections-ontario
Check out this write-up by Access Privacy by Osler on the consultation: https://www.accessprivacy.com/e-news/2020/ontario-launches-consultation-for-new-provincial-p
The federal government has set a temporary minimum unemployment rate of 13.1% for all Employment Insurance (EI) economic regions across Canada effective retroactive to Sunday, Aug. 9.
For more information on the changes, please refer to this article by Canadian Occupational Safety: https://www.thesafetymag.com/ca/topics/leadership-and-culture/feds-sets-temporary-unemployment-minimum-rate-for-ei-program/230586
For an official announcement of the temporary rate change (refer to section "Applying a minimum unemployment rate for the Employment Insurance program"): https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html
The Ministry of Labour and Immigration is seeking public feedback on the Occupational Health & Safety Legislation to ensure it is meeting the needs of Albertan workers and employers.
The Ministry would like to hear feedback from Albertans on ways to keep workers protected while reducing administrative burdens for businesses and employers. Deadline for submission of feedback is Wednesday, August 12, 2020.
To provide feedback, please click on this link: https://www.alberta.ca/occupational-health-and-safety-act-review.aspx
A Special Committee has been appointed to undertake a review of the Personal Information Protection Act pursuant to section 59 of that Act. The Act governs how private sector organizations collect, use and disclose personal information and gives individuals the right to access their own personal information. The Special Committee must submit a report, including any recommendations, to the Legislative Assembly within one year.
The Special Committee is holding a public consultation on how the Act is working. If interested, you may provide a written, audio or video submission by Friday, August 14, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.
To provide a written, audio or video submission, please click on this link: https://consultations.leg.bc.ca/Submission/Create?cons=PersonalInformationProtectionAct
Do you have questions about your rights and responsibilities under B.C.’s Human Rights Code? Join in one of the six scheduled virtual townhall sessions with the BC's Human Rights Commissioner, Kasari Govender, to learn about protected grounds, discrimination and human rights in B.C. The sessions will be delivered via Zoom.
For a list of the townhall sessions, including the times and dates and to RSVP, please refer to the Office of the Human Rights Commissioner's website.
On April 6, 2020, a revised Workers Compensation Act comes into force. This rewriting of the Workers Compensation Act makes no changes to British Columbia’s laws concerning workers’ compensation, occupational health and safety, and employers’ assessment premiums. It simply makes the existing laws more accessible. The B.C. Government has reorganized the Act so specific laws are easier to find and modernized the language so the Act is easier to read and understand.
On April 6, the Worksafe BC website will be updated to reflect the revised Act.
Here's a look at the revised Workers Compensation Act that is effective April 6, 2020.
Here's the current Workers Compensation Act that is effective until April 5, 2020.
Effective January 1, 2020, two regulations under the Occupational Health & Safety Act takes effect. The first regulation is Control of Exposure to Biological or Chemical Agents (Reg 883/90), and the second is Designated Substances (Reg 490/09). All businesses must be compliant with these new regulations.
Read more about the new changes here.
Effective January 1, 2020, the Ontario government no longer provides out-of-country healh insurance coverage.
The average base rate for 2020 is maintained at the same level as 2019 and 2018, at 1.55% of employers' assessable payroll.
Read more about the Premium Rate for 2020 here.
Effective January 1, 2020, British Columbia (B.C.) residents are no longer charged MSP premiums.
Read more about the legislation changes.
Employers are required to deduct from their employees EI Premiums from insurable earnings and CPP contributions from pensionable earnings. Employers are also required to contribute an amount equal to the CPP contributions deducted from their employees and pay 1.4 times the amount of the employee's EI premium.
EI Premium Rates and Maximums: Refer to the new rates here.
CPP Contribution Rates, Maximums and Exemptions: Refer to the new rates here.
TD1 is a form used to determine the amount of tax to be deducted from an employee's employment income. These new forms are to be used for wages paid on January 1, 2020 or later.
Get a copy of the 2020 TD1 Federal and Provincial forms here.