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5 Common Issues in Employment and Labour Laws in Canada


When an employer wishes to hire staff in Canada, there is a lot to keep in mind. In this case, employment laws, along with a professional employment lawyer can help employers understand when they can hire and when employees can work. The Employment & Labour Laws and Regulation body cover a wide range of issues in employment and labor guidelines as provided in the 51 jurisdictions. The Levitt LLP is a useful source for more information and insights. Here are common issues.

1. The Source of Employment

Employment in Canada is mostly governed by employment contracts (both verbal and written) based on common law, civil code, or employment legislation. Canada’s Constitution Act states that matters of employment and labor lies within the provincial jurisdiction; hence, each province operates within its own labor laws and legislation.

2. Implications of Employment Terms

Employment contracts explicitly consist of various obligations for employers and employees. Employers are expected to provide a conducive working environment that is secure and safe, along with reasonable contract termination notice. On the other hand, employees are required to be dutiful and loyal to their employers. However, at times employees may need an employment lawyer to help them understand the implications of each law and how it may affect them.

3. Minimum Employment Terms and Conditions

Both the employees and employers work under a collective employment agreement. Generally, each province jurisdiction sets employment legislation providing the minimum standards concerning minimum wage, holiday pay, hours of service, vacation, and any form leaves, including sick, study, or parental. The public order doesn’t allow for the parties (employment contract) to contract outside these standards unless the terms provided are in favor of the employee.

4. The Extent at which Terms and Conditions Can Be Agreed Through a Collective Bargaining

Unions play a significant role in Canadian employment. Most Canadian jurisdiction provides a platform by which a trade union may be certified or recognized as a bargaining unit to a group of employees. While unions represent nearly 30 percent of the Canadian workforce, their rates vary from province to the other. Similarly, the unionization rates in the private sector are much lower as compared to the public sector. However, sometimes collective bargaining matters can be delicate; that is why involving an employment lawyer can be a good choice.

5. The Nature of Employment Contracts

Canadian contracts are not limited to writing only but take various forms, including formal agreements, verbal agreement, or offer letters. But sometimes the labor legislation calls for collective agreements to be done in writing. Similarly, other employment standards regulations require employers to provide written guidelines regarding sensitive matters like workplace harassment and violence.

Most-employment related issues can be complicated. The several employment laws involved can be overwhelming and hard to understand to an ordinary employee. That is why it is advisable to seek the help of an employment lawyer to help interpret and advise on the best way forward.