The Canada Labour Code applies to all federally regulated industries and most Crown corporations but does include:

  • Banking
  • Marine Shipping
  • Ferry and Port Services
  • Air Transportation, including Airports, Aerodromes and Airlines
  • Railway
  • Road Transportation that involves crossing provincial or international borders
  • Canals
  • Pipelines
  • Tunnels and Bridges (crossing provincial borders)
  • Telephone, Telegraph and Cable Systems
  • Radio and Television Broadcasting
  • Grain Elevators
  • Feed and Seed Mills
  • Uranium Mining and Processing
  • Businesses dealing with the protection of Fisheries as a natural resource
  • Many First Nation activities
  • Most Federal Crown Corporations

The Canada Labour Code does not apply to the Federal Public Service.  If you work in any other industry then please go to the Alberta Employment Standards Code section of the application.

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage under Canada Labour Code is what the minimum wage is for the province where the work is done.

  • The current minimum wage in Alberta is $10.20/hour

Minimum Number of Hours of Work/Day

  • 3 hours/day worked

Hours of Work

  • Hours of work per day are all hours worked in a 24 hour period from midnight to 11:59:59 p.m.
  • The maximum amount of time an employee can work in a week is 48 hours

Hours of Rest

The Canada Labour Code does not say anything about breaks during work days

Days Off

  • 1 day off per week must be provided – preferably Sunday

Overtime

Not all employees are entitled to overtime compensation:

  • Managers, superintendents and employees who carry out management functions are not entitled to overtime

Some other industries are exempt as well or have different rules

Exempt:

  • Architects, dentist, engineers, lawyers and medical doctors

Different standards:

  • Truck drivers
  • Employees on ships in the shipping industry
  • Running trade employees for railways
  • Commission salesperson in broadcasting

Any hours worked over 8 hours/day or 40 hours/week whichever is greater is considered overtime (only count paid hours, not unpaid breaks)

Deduct 8 hours/week for each general holiday day, vacation day or bereavement leave day to calculate the weekly overtime

Overtime Pay

Overtime is paid out at 1.5 times the rate of pay

Compassionate Care Leave

All employees are entitled to 8 weeks of compassionate care leave to take time off to be with a gravely ill family member where the doctor has stated there is significant risk of death within 26 weeks

  • A medical certificate from the doctor is required
  • This time off will be without pay

Bereavement Leave

All employees are entitled to any normal working day off within 3 calendar days following the death of an immediate family member

  • If the employee has been employed for 3 continuous months or more this day will be with pay
  • If the employee has been employed for less than 3 continuous months this day will be without pay
  • The maximum number of days allowed is 3 normal working days off

Vacation

After working for a certain amount of time an employee is entitled to vacation:

  • After 1 year (in year 2 of work) = 2 work weeks
  • After 2 years (in year 3 of work) = 2 work weeks
  • After 3 years (in year 4 of work) = 2 work weeks
  • After 4 years (in year 5 of work) = 2 work weeks
  • After 5 years (in year 6 of work) = 3 work weeks
  • Anything more than 5 years equals 3 work weeks of vacation/year

Vacation Pay

  • 2 work weeks of vacation is paid out at 4% of an employee’s regular earnings
  • 3 work weeks of vacation is paid out at 6% of an employee’s regular earnings
  • Vacation time is paid when the employee takes vacation
  • Any vacation time not taken by end of employment must be paid on the last cheque

General Holidays

There are nine (9) general holidays under the Canada Labour Code:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Good Friday
  • Victoria Day
  • Canada Day
  • Labour Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Remembrance Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day

General Holiday Pay

Employees are not entitled to any general holiday pay if the general holiday falls within the first 30 days after they were hired

All workers are entitled to general holiday pay if they:

  • Have worked for the employer for 15 days during the 30 calendar days prior to the general holiday

If an employee works on a general holiday they are entitled to their regular pay for the day plus an additional one and a half times their rate of pay for the day

If New Year’s Day, Canada Day, Remembrance Day or Christmas Day fall on a Saturday or Sunday that is a non-working day the employee is entitled to a holiday with pay on the working day immediately before or after the holiday

If any other general holiday falls on a non-working day for the employee, the employee is entitled to a day off with pay added to their vacation or at some other time as agreed by both employer and employee

Sick Leave

Once an employee has completed 3 months of continuous employment they are protected from being terminated because of absences due to illness or injury

This protection is for any absence not exceeding 17 weeks

This leave will be without pay from the employer

Work Related Illness and Injury Leave

If the illness or injury is work related the employee is entitled to take the required time off

Employers are to pay the employee as per the Workers’ Compensation legislation in the employee’s province of permanent residence

Individual Termination of Employment

Employers must give at least 2 weeks of notice prior to termination date.  If no notice is given employees are entitled to up to 2 weeks of termination pay

Notice or payment in lieu of notice is not required if:

  • An employee has not completed 3 or more months of consecutive employment
  • An employee terminated their own employment
  • An employee is terminated for just cause
  • An employee is laid off
  • If the lay-off is a result of a strike or lock out
  • The term of the lay-off is 3 months or less
  • The term of the lay-off is 3 months to less than 12 months with the possibility of returning to work under a collective agreement
  • An employee is entitled to severance pay if they are laid off
  • An employee is entitled to severance pay if they have worked for the company for at least 12 consecutive months
  • Amount of severance pay is equivalent to 2 days pay at the employee’s regular wages for regular hours work for each completed year of employment with a minimum benefit equal to 5 days wages
  • Severance pay does not need to be paid if the employee is dismissed for just cause
  • Employees are not required to give notice to their employer if they choose to quit
  • Amount of severance pay is equivalent to 2 days pay at the employee’s regular wages for regular hours work for each completed year of employment with a minimum benefit equal to 5 days wages
  • Severance pay does not need to be paid if the employee is dismissed for just cause

Maternity Leave, Parental Leave and Reassignment

If a job has the potential to harm a pregnant woman, her fetus or her nursing child the woman is allowed to make a request for job modification or reassignment

Maternity Leave

  • To be granted maternity leave a woman must have worked for the employer for 6 consecutive months prior to beginning her maternity leave
  • Entitled to 17 weeks of maternity leave
  • Can begin up to 11 weeks before the due date and end 17 weeks after the birth of the child

Parental Leave

  • Can be taken for birth child or for adopting a child under the age of 18 years old
  • Entitled to 37 weeks of parental leave
  • Both parents can take parental leave but if both parents fall under the same jurisdiction of the Canada Labour Code they are only entitled to a combined 37 weeks of parental leave in total
  • Can be taken anytime during the 52 weeks after the child is born or adopted

Job protection under Canada Labour Code

When returning from leave the employer must:

  • Hire employee back at same position as before leaving or similar position
  • Hire the employee back at the same rate of pay from when the employee left unless there is company reorganization and all positions have pay decreased or increased
  • This time off does not need to be paid by the employer
  • Must give 4 weeks written notice before leaving and must advise employer of intended length of leave

Complaint Process

An employee must file a complaint within 90 days of knowing or when they ought to have known of the incident leading to the complaint

Employment of Workers Under the Age of 17 Years Old

Employers may hire workers under the age of 17 provided that:

  • They are not required by provincial law to attend school
  • The work is not likely to endanger their health or safety
  • They are not required to work underground in a mine or in employment prohibited for young workers under the Explosives
  • Regulations, the Nuclear Safety and Control Act and Regulations of the Canada Shipping Act
  • They are not required to work between 11:00 p.m. on one day and 6:00 a.m. the following day

If you need help filing a Canadian Labour Code complaint, please click on the link.

Disclaimer information: http://www.thecdlc.ca/education/help-for-workers/disclaimer/