Ottawa's new rules for federally regulated employers now in effect
Three employment lawyers are reminding employers about their responsibility regarding written statements to employees, as was detailed in an amendment to the Canada Labour Code.
Under the new rule, federal Crown corporations and federally regulated employers in the private sector must provide a written statement regarding the terms of employment to new employees within their first 30 days of employment. They must also provide similar statements to existing employees by Oct. 7, 2023.
“There will inevitably be overlap between the content of an employee’s mandatory employment statement and an employee’s employment contract,” say Patrick Denroche, associate; Brad Tartick, partner; and Mitch Frazer, managing partner at the Toronto office, at Mintz law firm.
“As with any communication to employees, employers should take care to ensure that the information provided in the employment statement is consistent with the terms and conditions of the relevant employee’s employment contract.”
Inconsistency between statements and contracts
Any inconsistency between the written employment statement and workers’ employment contracts could pose problems to employers, say the three Mintz law experts.
“Although we are unaware of any instances to date, it is conceivable that an employee may attempt to rely on an inconsistency between an employment statement and their employment contract to make a claim against their employer, such as for additional compensation or benefits or lesser duties and responsibilities.
“Relatedly, employers need to ensure that the employment statements align with their applicable workplace policies and practices and job postings.”
The changes around rules on employee information and expenses “will take quite a bit of analysis,” one lawyer said in a previous Canadian HR Reporter report.
Template for employment statements
While the provision of this information via employment statements is mandatory, the use of the government-provided template by employers is optional, note Denroche, Tartick and Frazer.
However, if there are any changes to the information provided in a previous employment statement, employers must provide an updated statement to affected employees within 30 days of the change, they say.
The written employment statements that employers must submit should include the following information, according to the federal government:
- (a) the names of the parties to the employment relationship
- (b) the job title of the employee and a brief description of their duties and responsibilities
- (c) the address of the ordinary place of work
- (d) the date on which the employment commences
- (e) the term of the employment
- (f) the duration of the probationary period
- (g) a description of the necessary qualifications for the position
- (h) a description of any required training for the position
- (i) the hours of work for the employee, including information on the calculation of those hours and rules regarding overtime hours
- (j) the rate of wages or salary and the rate of overtime pay
- (k) the frequency of pay days and the frequency of payment of any other remuneration
- (l) any mandatory deductions from wages
- (m) information about how the employee can claim reimbursement of reasonable work-related expenses.
Employers must also keep copies of employment statements for 36 months after an employee’s employment with the employer ends.