Changes for Federally Regulated Employers: Extension of Layoff Period and Introduction of Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations


If your business is federally regulated, you should be aware of recent changes to applicable employment and occupational health and safety standards.  The industries which are federally regulated include aviation, banking, radio and television broadcasting and many First Nations activities.

Extension of Layoff Period

The federal government has temporarily extended the time period for recalling laid off employees beyond which a termination would normally be deemed to occur.  This extension gives employers more flexibility with respect to recalling employees.

For employees laid off before March 31, 2020, the recall period has been extended by six months or to December 30, 2020, whichever takes place first.  For employees laid off between March 31, 2020 and September 30, 2020, the recall period ends December 30, 2020 or any later recall date the employer provided to the employee in writing at the time of the layoff.

The time during which an employee is laid off will continue to count as continuous employment and must be factored into termination pay and severance pay for any eventual termination.

If there is a collective agreement containing recall rights, the above changes will not apply.

Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations

The Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations will come into force on January 1, 2021.  Currently, there are separate regimes under the Canada Labour Code for dealing with violence and sexual harassment in the workplace.  The Regulations will create a single regime that will apply to a spectrum of behaviours from teasing to physical violence.

Under the Regulations, employers will be required to record, report and respond to harassment and violence, including support affected employees.

The Regulations also provide protections to address confidentiality concerns.

Please contact any of the Employment and Labour lawyers of Clark Wilson LLP for further information.

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