THE EMPLOYERS' EDGE
Bill C-63 Creates New Scheduling Burdens for Federally Regulated Employers
A new Bill is gaining momentum that, if passed, will significantly affect the scheduling practices of federally regulated employers and will also establish new leaves as well as extend existing leaves for federal employees. Bill C-63 – “Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2” was introduced into the House of Commons on October 27, 2017 and is currently in its second reading. Bill C-63, in its’ current form, will amend a number of acts, including the Canada Labour Code. These changes include:
- Providing employees with a formal right to request flexible work arrangements from their employers. Employers may only refuse the request on one or more of the following grounds:
Providing employees with at least 24 hours’ notice of a change in shift
- The requested change would result in additional costs that would be a burden on the employer,
- The requested change would have a detrimental impact on the quality or quantity of work within the employer’s industrial establishment, on the ability to meet customer demand or on any other aspect of performance within that industrial establishment,
- The employer is unable to reorganize work among existing employees or to recruit additional employees in order to manage the requested change,
- There would be insufficient work available for the employee if the requested change was granted, and
- Any ground prescribed by regulation.
Providing employees with a right to refuse overtime in order to fulfill a family responsibility
- There are some exceptions, including when the 24 hour notice requirement would lead to a “threat of serious interference with the ordinary working of the employer’s industrial establishment”).
New three-day unpaid family responsibility leave; New 10-day unpaid leave for victims of family violence; New three-day unpaid leave for traditional Aboriginal practices; Extension of the current paid bereavement leave by an additional two unpaid days, and extension of the time period in which bereavement leave can be taken; and, Other modifications to provisions on work schedules, overtime, annual vacation and general holidays intended to provide greater flexibility in work arrangements.
- These include responsibilities related to the health or care of any of the employee’s family members or the education of any of the employees family members who are less than 18 years of age;
- However, employees may only refuse overtime if they have taken reasonable steps to carry out their family responsibility by other means, so as to enable them to work overtime; and,
- One exception to this rule is that overtime may not be refused where that refusal would lead to a “threat of serious interference with the ordinary working of the employer’s industrial establishment”.
Bill C-63 also repeals amendments to the Canada Labour Code that would have allowed for short-term internships, in addition to those administered through a college or university.
Bill C-63 must still undergo further review before it receives royal assent, and CCP will ensure employers remain informed on the status of this pending legislation. Click here for a list of lawyers that are ready and able to assist you with understanding your obligations with respect to the proposed amendments and pursuant to the Canada Labour Code in general.