With the Delta variant surging, many provinces across Canada are implementing COVID-19 vaccine passports. While employers in certain industries (e.g., health care) are requiring their employees to be vaccinated, the COVID-19 vaccination passports most in the news focus on restricting individual access to certain businesses (e.g., restaurants, entertainment and sporting venues).
Here is a quick update on the state of mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada.*
In December of 2020, Alberta passed a new Occupational Health and Safety Act (the New Act), which will replace the current Act in its entirety. The government has indicated that the New Act will come into force in late 2021, but this is yet to be confirmed with an official proclamation.
Earlier this year, Alberta announced that it was seeking ideas to improve and update the Occupational Health & Safety Code (OHS Code). This means that there are more changes coming! These changes may include adding certain requirements to the OHS Code, which have been removed from the New Act (see below).
In the meantime, Alberta employers will want to start getting ready for the New Act, which covers everything from workplace accidents to health and safety committees to refusing work.
Over the last few years, the federal government has made a number of changes to employment laws that are aimed at enhancing the rights of employees at federally-regulated workplaces. These include laws governing everything from workplace harassment to pay equity to accessibility. And the government is not done yet – even more changes are on the horizon!
So, if you are a federal employer (e.g., bank, airline, shipping, interprovincial trucking), there are numerous new requirements that you should be addressing now or preparing for in the future.
As Canada’s rollout of COVID-19 vaccines finally picks up steam, several provinces have taken steps to increase accessibility – including adding new COVID-19 vaccination leaves of absence. These leaves enable workers to take time off from work (with pay) to get their shot.
So, which provinces require employers to provide paid COVID-19 vaccination leave? More »
COVID-19 has changed the way we work, and for many of us, WHERE we work. And it looks like that change may be here to stay. More and more employers have announced that they intend to maintain a remote workforce, at least to some degree. And a recent survey by Robert Half found that 33% of employees would quit their job if they are forced to return to the office. So what does this mean for employers?
The pandemic has exacerbated many barriers for persons with disabilities. And with employers focusing on COVID-19 health and safety, some may have forgotten about accessibility.
Accessible Standards Canada (ASC) published resources on accessible practices for returning to the workplace. While ASC is charged with developing accessibility standards for federally regulated workplaces, these tips may help any Canadian employer who must ensure a safe and accessible return to the workplace during the pandemic.
Ed. Note: This post has been updated to reflect changing mask requirements.
Across Canada, provinces have instituted a range of mandatory mask orders in response to COVID-19. Now they are required in most Canadian workplaces.
Typically, where masks are required, there are exemptions for children, workers in areas not accessible to the public and able to maintain physical distancing, those with medical conditions preventing them from wearing masks, and situations when masks must be removed (e.g., treatments, services or physical activities requiring removal or identification). Many jurisdictions also have exemptions for courtrooms or proceedings before an administrative tribunal.
Here’s a quick recap of Canada’s mask requirements.
UPDATE – The federal government has called for an election on September 20, 2021. This means that Bills that had been introduced but not yet received Royal Assent (meaning they were not passed into laws) will die on the order paper. Bill C-11 is one of those Bills. This means that, at least for now, the proposed changes to Canada’s privacy laws are not moving forward.
Changes are coming to Canada’s privacy legislation. The federal government introduced new legislation in Bill C-11 that will replace part of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).
The new Act will be called the Consumer Privacy Protection Act, and while it is similar to PIPEDA in many ways, there are some significant changes. Those changes include significantly greater penalties for non-compliance with the Act, as well as some new requirements.
These amendments are important to every organization that collects, uses or discloses personal information in the course of commercial activities, and will apply across the country (subject to exemptions for provinces that have substantially similar legislation).
If your business or organization is federally regulated (e.g., banks, airlines, shipping, interprovincial trucking), then you need to get ready for new workplace harassment and violence requirements coming into force on January 1, 2021.
Below is a quick review of what you need to know.
In response to COVID-19, the federal government launched three new Canadian benefit programs, including a paid sick leave, for workers. Below is a quick review of the programs, what they cover and how to apply.