Federal Government Publishes Exemptions to New Hours of Work and Notice of Schedule Requirements under Canada Labour Code
Date: December 16, 2021
The federal government recently published Exemptions from and Modifications to Hours of Work Provisions Regulations (Regulations) made under the Canada Labour Code (CLC).
The Regulations provide certain exemptions and modifications to the CLC provisions requiring employers to provide 96 hours’ notice of work schedule, 24 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 came into force on September 1, 2019 (see our Federal Post of June 13, 2019 Significant Canada Labour Code Reforms to Come Into Force September 1, 2019), and employers in industries with 24/7 operations in certain sectors raised concerns regarding their ability to meet the new obligations.
The Regulations apply to 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). Employers in these sectors should review the Regulations to determine the nature of the exemptions and modifications and the classifications of employees to whom they will apply.
In the preamble which accompanies the Regulations, the federal government states that the application of the new CLC provisions to employees in certain sectors without modification “would be or is unduly prejudicial to the interests of the employees in those classes or would be or is seriously detrimental to the operation of those industrial establishments” and that those provisions “cannot be reasonably applied to certain classes of employees.”
The Regulations come into force on February 1, 2022.
Separate regulations specific to the aviation, telecommunications and broadcasting, and rail transportation sectors are still under development. Interpretations, Policies and Guidelines 101 will continue to apply to specified classes of employees in these sectors until the coming into force of related regulations.
If you have any questions or require specific advice with regard to the Regulations, please contact your regular Hicks Morley lawyer.
Editor’s Note on January 4, 2022: The federal government has published draft regulations which will amend the Exemptions from and Modifications to Hours of Work Provisions Regulations. These proposed amendments add further exemptions for certain classes of employees in the aviation, telecommunications and broadcasting, banking, and rail transportation sectors. It will also amend the Administrative Monetary Penalties (Canada Labour Code) Regulations. Stakeholders have until February 23, 2022 to provide their comments on these proposed amendments.
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