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Deadline for Federally Regulated Employers to Provide Existing Employees with Employment Statements Fast Approaching

September 18, 2023 Employment and Labour Relations Bulletin 3 minute read

On July 9, 2023, amendments to the Canada Labour Code (the “Code”) and some of its regulations took effect. These amendments were first put forward in the 2018 budget. Of particular urgency, federally regulated employers must provide their existing employees with employment statements by October 7, 2023.[1]

New Requirement for Federally Regulated Employers to Provide Employees with Employment Statements

The Code has been amended by adding section 253.2, which requires federally regulated employers to provide new employees with written employment statements within the first 30 days of employment. Additionally, existing employees who were employed as of July 9, 2023, must be provided with statements by October 7, 2023.

Section 3.1 of the Canada Labour Standards Regulations lists the information that employment statements must contain:

  1. the names of the parties to the employment relationship;
  2. the job title of the employee and a brief description of their duties and responsibilities;
  3. the address of the ordinary place of work;
  4. the date on which the employment commences;
  5. the term of the employment;
  6. the duration of the probationary period, if any;
  7. a description of the necessary qualifications for the position;
  8. a description of any required training for the position;
  9. the hours of work for the employee, including information on the calculation of those hours and rules regarding overtime hours;
  10. the rate of wages or salary and the rate of overtime pay;
  11. the frequency of pay days and the frequency of payment of any other remuneration;
  12. any mandatory deductions from wages; and
  13. information about how the employee can claim reimbursement of reasonable work-related expenses.[2]

Existing documents such as written employment contracts, collective agreements, and policy manuals may already satisfy these requirements. If a separate statement is provided, employers must ensure that there are no inconsistencies between employment statements and employment contracts. Additionally, if there are any changes to the information provided in an employment statement, the employer must provide a revised statement within 30 days.[3]

Employers must also retain copies of employment statements for 36 months after the employee’s employment ends.[4]

Federally Regulated Employers Required to Provide Employees with Ministry of Labour Materials

Section 253.1 of the Code requires employers to provide employees with any materials that the Ministry of Labour makes available containing information respecting employer and employee rights under Part III of the Code.[5] These materials must be provided to new employees within 30 days of employment, and to existing employees by October 7, 2023. The most recent version of all materials must also be kept posted in a readily accessible location.[6]

Upon termination, employees must be provided with a copy of the most recent version of these materials no later than their last day of employment.[7]

Federally Regulated Employers Required to Reimburse Work-Related Expenses

As discussed in our previous bulletin, the new amendments require federally regulated employers to reimburse reasonable work-related expenses within 30 days after the employee submits a claim for payment.[8]

Subsection 23.1(1) of the Canada Labour Standards Regulations lists factors to determine whether an expense is work-related. Subsection 23.1(2) of the Canada Labour Standards Regulations lists factors to consider in determining whether an expense is reasonable.

Expenses that are deemed to be ineligible under regulations, collective agreements, or written agreements between employers and employees are excluded from the requirement to reimburse.[9]

Failure to Comply Will Lead to Monetary Penalties Under the Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulations

The failure to comply with the amendments will give rise to monetary penalties. New sections were added to the Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulations to introduce penalties for failing to comply with the new amendments.[10]

Take-Aways for Employers

Federally regulated employers have had their hands full in recent years with numerous amendments to the Code and other applicable workplace legislation. However, the employment statements obligations present a useful opportunity to verify existing contract templates and policy manuals to ensure that all of the requisite statement information is captured, in addition to ensure that these documents are up to date with other changes to applicable law.

[1] “Employer compliance with federal labour standards” (18 August 2023), Government of Canada.
[2] Canada Labour Standards Regulations, CRC, c 986, s 3.1 [Standards Regulations].
[3] Canada Labour Code, RSC 1985, c L-2, s 253.2(2) [Code].
[4] Ibid, s 253.2(3).
[5] Ibid, s 253.1(1).
[6] Ibid, s 253.1(2).
[7] Ibid, s 253.1(3).
[8] Ibid, s 238.1; Standards Regulations, supra note 2, s 23.1(3).
[9] Code, supra note 3, s 238.1(2)
[10] “Regulations Amending Certain Regulations Made Under the Canada Labour Code: SOR/2023-79” (10 May 2023), Government of Canada.

by Kyle Lambert, Ricki-Lee Williams, and Hamza Bettah (Articling Student)

A Cautionary Note

The foregoing provides only an overview and does not constitute legal advice. Readers are cautioned against making any decisions based on this material alone. Rather, specific legal advice should be obtained.

© McMillan LLP 2023

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