Changes to Canada Labour Code expected to provide structure

Reforms to complaints, wage claims came into effect on April 1

Amendments to the Canada Labour Code (CLC) aim to regulate complaints and wage claims.

Introduced under Division 10 of the Jobs and Growth Act 2012, the changes implement a new process for making complaints to an Employment and Social Development Canada-Labour Program (Labour Program) inspector as well as expand the powers of inspectors to facilitate settlements, suspend investigations and reject complaints.

Inspectors can reject a complaint based on a reason listed in the CLC or suspend it if the inspector feels the parties would benefit by seeking another avenue.

Much of Division 10 focused on deadlines. A time limit for employers to provide workers with vacation pay was introduced while restrictions were put on employees applying for payment of wages or other monies.

The amendments require wage/payment recovery complaints be made within 6 months and that the “look-back” period for payment orders be limited to the period starting one year prior to the date of complaint or date of termination.

An effort to provide structure to the complaints and claims processes, the reforms are intended to bring the CLC into line with provincial employment and labour standards.

The amendments came into effect on April 1, 2014.

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