Legislative Roundup

A review of recent legislative changes across Canada affecting payroll


Employment Standards amendments pass

Employees in Ontario will soon have access to three new job-protected leaves. Effective Oct. 29, amendments to the Employment Standards Act, 2000, will allow employees with at least six consecutive months of service with their employer to take the unpaid leaves for certain family responsibilities.

Family Caregiver Leave will allow eligible employees to take up to eight weeks off work a year to provide care or support to a family member with a serious medical condition. A second leave, called Critically Ill Child Care Leave, will allow eligible employees to take up to 37 weeks off work to provide care or support to a critically ill child. A third leave, Crime-related Child Death or Disappearance Leave, will allow eligible employees to take up to 52 weeks off work if their child goes missing as a result of a suspected crime and up to 104 weeks off work if their child dies as a result of a suspected crime. The leaves will be in addition to current leaves allowed under the Act for family medical leave and personal emergency leave.

Reminder: Minimum wage increased June 1

Effective June 1, the Ontario government raised the province’s general minimum wage rate from $10.25 per hour to $11. For liquor servers, the rate increased from $8.90 an hour to $9.55. The rate for students rose from $9.60 an hour to $10.30. The student rate applies to students who are under 18 and working fewer than 28 hours per week or more than 28 hours during school vacation.

Northwest Territories

National Aboriginal Day a statutory holiday

Saturday, June 21, is a statutory holiday in the Northwest Territories. The holiday celebrates National Aboriginal Day, which recognizes the contribution of Aboriginal Peoples to the Northwest Territories and Canada.

Prince Edward Island

Reminder: Minimum wage increased June 1

Effective June 1, the minimum wage rate in the province rose from $10 per hour to $10.20. The rate will go up again on Oct. 1 to $10.35.


National Holiday is June 24

Tuesday, June 24, National Holiday, is a statutory holiday in Quebec. All employees in the province are entitled to the holiday.


Province enacts new employment act

The province’s new Saskatchewan Employment Act took effect on April 29. It consolidates 12 labour-related acts, including The Labour Standards Act, into one piece of legislation. It contains employment standards, occupational health and safety and labour relations, as well as related legislation. In addition to consolidating the laws, the act amends various provisions.

It makes some changes to employment standards, including the following:

•allowing overtime hours to be banked;

•allowing employers and employees to agree to average work hours over one, two, three or four weeks under modified work arrangements;

•reducing the eligibility period for maternity, parental and adoption leave from 20 weeks of service to 13 weeks;

•adding new leaves for critically ill children, children who have disappeared or died as a result of a crime, organ donation, citizenship ceremonies and for running for political office;

•indexing the province’s minimum wage rate to inflation;

•allowing employers to provide employees with electronic pay statements as long as the employee is able to print a copy of the statement; and

•requiring employers to keep records that cover the most recent five years of an employee’s employment and, if employment ends, keeping the records for two years after the last day of work.

The provincial government has set up the website www.saskatchewan.ca/work to provide more information about the act.

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