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Keeping up with Canada’s fast-changing employment and labour laws

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should!


Did you know?

On January 1, 2019, the entitlement under Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000, to personal emergency leave (including two paid days) was repealed and replaced with three new unpaid leave entitlements in each calendar year:  3 days Sick Leave, 3 days Family Responsibility Leave, and 2 days Bereavement Leave.

1.      2018 was a year of change for employers across Canada.  The legalization of recreational cannabis coupled with seismic shifts in employment standards and labour relations legislation required many employers to change the way they do business.

2.      You may be thinking about rolling back the wage parity among full and part-time employees brought in under Bill 148.  Can you? Should you? The analysis is both practical and legal.

3.      In a non-unionized workplace, a unilateral and substantial change to an essential term of employment can, in some cases, be considered a constructive dismissal.

4.      Takeaways for employers
As noted above, an appeal of the decision is scheduled to be heard on March 25, 2019.   Until the law is settled, employers should remember this:

1.     A notice of resignation or retirement must be clear.

A healthy-given notice of resignation or retirement may not be upheld by a court.  An employer that relies on such notice does so at some risk.

Best practice:  If an employee “resigns” in the heat of the moment or shortly following an incident, proceed with caution.  Consider allowing a reasonable period of time to pass, then confirm resignation in writing.

2.     Acceptance of a resignation may be sufficient to create a binding agreement.

Subject to point 1 (above), assuming English v. Manulife remains the law, an employer need only accept a resignation for it to be binding.

Best practice:  To minimize the opportunity for disagreement and/or misunderstanding down the road, ensure “acceptance” is clear (written confirmation) and consider taking a step or action in reliance on the resignation.