Industry News

How Changes to the Canada Labour Code Affect HR

As of January 1st, 2021, the Canadian Labour Code has some new rules and legislations that are meant to improve workers’ rights.

The changes and improvements are vital to keeping the workplace in Canada moving forward, and they reflect on a couple of different areas, like preventing workplace harassment, enhancing equality among workers and raising awareness of it in a place of work.

To find out exactly what the changes are, and how they affected HR departments around the country, read on.

What Are the Changes to the Labour Code?

Business meetingAll the new additions to the labour code are meant to improve the safety and equality of all the workers.

To go into a bit more detail, you can find the separated focus points that have been introduced and are currently already valid and necessary.

Increased Prevention of Harassment and Violence in the Workplace

Anti-harassment and violence legislation is in place to further the reduction of workplace harassment and violence by finally recognizing the existence of these behaviours and strengthening the already existing network of approaches to combat them.

Most importantly, it focuses on sexual harassment and violence in the office, stating that any action that can reasonably cause harm, whether psychological or physical, will be addressed appropriately and investigated when brought forward.

Enhancing Awareness and Equality

Elbow greetingThe amendments to the Employment Equity Regulations are meant to bring transparency to the wage gap that women, indigenous peoples, minorities, and people with disabilities may be experiencing and reduce the possibility of this gap even existing in the future.

It also deals with workers’ salaries in the private sector and ensures that they are properly compensated for their work hours and any potential overtime.

Improving the Employers Compliance With the Code

Improving the employer’s compliance with the labour code is now enforced by monetary penalties.

Employers will have to pay fines if any of the new rules aren’t followed, and these penalties can go up to $250,000.

To allow employers ample time to adapt to the system and make necessary changes the monetary penalties will not be imposed until January 1st of 2022.

How Will They Affect HR?

Business men gesturingThe question here is, how will this affect the HR departments across Canada?

Well, the really significant change (apart from following the listed changes) is that the employers in federally regulated workplaces will have to conduct workplace assessments of their employees to make sure that everything is as it should be.

They will also have to institute training that relates to harassment and violence, as well as create a detailed process for dealing with all sorts of incidents that can occur in the workplace.

That’s all new and will probably take some time to implement fully, but the points brought to attention are all very important to the representation and rights of the workers all across the country.

The 2021 Canadian HR Landscape

You can always read up on the exact changes through the links in the text above, but hopefully, this was enough to get at least the basics of what these new rules and legislation bring to the table.

With these changes, 2021 will be quite an important year for Canada when it comes to workers’ rights and equality in the workplace, which is a huge step in the right direction.

Make sure you know what needs to be done in your business to comply with these changes and keep your business compliant.

To find out more, contact us today.

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