Certain Industries to be Exempted from New Hours of Work and Notice of Schedule Requirements under Canada Labour Code
Date: January 12, 2021
The federal government recently published proposed regulations Exemptions from and Modifications to Hours of Work Provisions Regulations (Proposed Regulations) made under the Canada Labour Code (Code). The Proposed Regulations would exempt certain sectors from the Code provisions requiring employers to provide 96 hours’ notice of work schedule, 8 hours’ notice of shift change, 30-minute breaks every 5 hours of work and 8 hour rest periods between work periods or shifts. These provisions were enacted in September 2019 (see our Federal Post of June 13, 2019 Significant Canada Labour Code Reforms to Come Into Force September 1, 2019).
The government initiated a consultation process in February 2020 relating to the exemption or modification of the new hours of work and notice requirements for certain classes of employees.
In the commentary which accompanies the Proposed Regulation, the government states that employers in industries with continuous 24/7 operations are “often subject to variables beyond their control, which restrict their ability to plan for staffing levels and provide breaks, rest periods, schedules and notice of shift changes ahead of time.” These variables can include weather conditions and changing customer demand in certain industries. As a result, certain flexibility from the hours of work and notice requirements was appropriate in certain cases.
The first phase of the consultation involved the road transportation, postal and courier sector, marine (pilotage, marine transportation and long-shoring), and grain (grain handling/elevators, and milling) sectors. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, stakeholders in other sectors (e.g. aviation, banking, rail transportation) were unable to make submissions in the second round of consultations.
Due to this development, and recognizing the unique operational requirements for certain classes of employees in 24/7 continuous operations, the Labour Program issued Interpretations, Policies and Guidelines 101 (the Interim Measure) which will continue to apply to specified classes of employees in all affected sectors until the coming into force of related regulations.
The Proposed Regulations will provide certain exemptions and modifications to the hours of work provisions for specified classes of employees in the following sectors: road transportation and postal and courier, marine (pilotage, marine transportation and long-shoring), and grain (grain handling/elevators, and milling). The Proposed Regulations are scheduled to come into force in Summer 2021 after publication in the Canada Gazette in the Spring.
The article in this client update provides general information and should not be relied on as legal advice or opinion. This publication is copyrighted by Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP and may not be photocopied or reproduced in any form, in whole or in part, without the express permission of Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP. ©