Amendments to Canada Labour Code Relating to Interns Soon to be In Force; CHRT Seeks Input on New Rules of Procedure
Date: July 10, 2020
In this Federal Post, we discuss incoming changes to the Canada Labour Code regarding internships in federal workplaces. We also discuss a public consultation initiated by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal on its new proposed Rules of Procedure.
New Canada Labour Code Provisions Relating to Interns Working in Federal Workplaces Coming Into Force September 1, 2020
Amendments made to the Canada Labour Code (CLC) in 2015 relating to unpaid interns are finally coming into force on September 1, 2020. The changes address a longstanding concern regarding the number of unpaid interns in federal workplaces.
Changes to the CLC
Sections 88 to 92 of The Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1 (as amended in 2017) enacts new CLC requirements with respect to:
- Interns who are not fulfilling educational requirements (Interns). Interns who perform activities for employers for the primary purpose of the Intern acquiring “knowledge and experience”, but unrelated to fulfilling educational requirements, will now be covered by the labour standards protections found in Part III of the CLC (Standard Hours, Wages, Vacation and Holiday) including the right to be paid minimum wage. As stated in the government’s explanatory notes, in practice these placements include recent graduates or those persons undergoing a career change, among others. Employers are required to treat the person as if they are an employee of the employer.
- Student interns who are undertaking a work-integrated learning placement (Student Interns). The CLC changes will apply to Student Interns who are fulfilling the requirements of “an educational program at a secondary or post-secondary institution, vocational school, or equivalent educational institution outside Canada.” Student internships may be unpaid, but Student Interns will be entitled to certain labour standards protections that are prescribed in the regulations (below).
Student Intern Regulations
On July 8, 2020, the Standards for Work-Integrated Learning Activities Regulations (Regulations) which relate to Student Interns were published. They set out when internships can be unpaid and the process to be followed to make that determination. They also establish what educational institutions are covered by the new provisions and incorporate by reference the Directory of Educational Institutions in Canada to determine eligible post-secondary and vocational educational institutions.
The Regulations set out the specific labour standards which apply to Student Interns, such as: a limit of 40 hours/week and 8 hours/day, with at least one day of rest per week; a right to a modified work schedule; unpaid breaks for every period of 5 hours of work or for medical reasons or nursing; 8 hour rest between shifts; general holiday and certain protected leave entitlements; and more.
The Regulations specify a number of administrative requirements, such as the documentation required to determine the internship can be unpaid and record-keeping obligations.
Federal employers should review their policies with respect to internships and ensure they are in compliance with these new legislative changes. For assistance, please contact Amy Tibble, Stephanie McLoughlin, or your Hicks Morley lawyer.
CHRT Seeking Public Input on Proposed Rules of Procedure
By: Lauri Reesor
The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT or Tribunal) has published its proposed Canadian Human Rights Tribunal Rules of Procedure, 2020 (Proposed Rules) for public consultation. The Proposed Rules will replace the existing Rules of Procedure.
As stated in the CHRT’s summary, the Proposed Rules include the following changes:
- a rule allowing the Tribunal to sanction non-compliance with the Rules of Procedure or any order of the Tribunal
- a rule on electronic service and filing
- a rule requiring parties to file a list of documents and a copy of the documents they intend to introduce into evidence at the hearing. Parties will be required to file the list and the documents with the Tribunal and provide these to the other parties no later than 45 days before the beginning of the hearing
- a rule defining the Tribunal’s official record, access to that record and retention and disposal of the record, to clarify the public’s right of access to exhibits and other documents related to the CHRT’s inquiry
- more detailed requirements for statements of particulars, to help parties identify such elements as the discriminatory practice being alleged, the remedies sought, and the defenses being relied upon
- a rule establishing a time limit for the issuance of decisions by the Tribunal.
The CHRT will also be creating new practice notes to assist parties in understanding the new Rules, once implemented.
Stakeholder feedback on the Proposed Rules, by way of written response to CHRTrules-TCDPregles@chrt-tcdp.gc.ca, is requested by September 1, 2020.
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