Employment laws have always been somewhat cryptic and a pain to understand as a layman and Canada is sadly no exception. Generally if you wish to sift through all the documents detailing the laws then you’ll need a decent level of legal knowledge to properly understand every single nuance.
However, that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible for you to find a source that’s easy to understand as that’s what we’re trying to do with this text. We of course won’t be able to cover everything but we’ll do our best to go over the most important parts of employment law in Canada.
One of the most critical things that you need to know about is the fact that both federal and local law covers minimum employment circumstances that need to be met.
This covers everything from minimum wage and vacation days to worker safety and really anything else that you can imagine which would be discussed during interviews and of course present in any contract you sign. Every employee is entitled to the federal minimum and of course local laws can even increase those minimums if the local government sees it fit to do so.
Workers are also protected legally against discrimination and harassment. The Canadian Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, family status, disability, and conviction for an offense for which a pardon has been granted.
Employers are also required to provide a workplace that is free from harassment and violence. These are things that are required in every single workplace and we’re glad it’s that way.
There are also of course various standards that are described in the law which need to be met in places of work.
This covers everything from health and safety standards that are meant to protect the wellbeing of workers all the way to standards of how certain business practices need to be laid out and function. All of these are made so that corners can’t be cut in ways that would negatively affect employees in any way, especially their health.
The laws also regulate how employees can be terminated. It of course covers when and how employees can be terminated, what is considered wrongful termination and what employees are entitled to in the case of wrongful termination.
It also goes over severance pay and how much employees are entitled to in various situations. In some cases employees will receive more than the minimum from a business as a sort of unspoken rule in certain circumstances. These are all meant to protect people while they find a new job.
Benefits and various obligations are also covered in great detail. It goes over when they are entitled to such things and in which situations are employers required by law to provide them.
Of course the workers have the right to choose whether they wish to participate in such things and in any other program that an employer may think of. While it may seem odd to give employees a choice as to whether or not they want to receive something they likely always want, it’s a safety measure that’s useful in niche cases.
Hiring employees is also described very accurately. It details things such as requirements for work, background checks and everything else that may go on during the recruitment stages.
Paid training, internships and various other circumstances that are related to this also have various laws surrounding them which ensures that employees are entitled to fair treatment even during these stages. Even if you aren’t an employee and are only being interviewed your rights are still covered here.
To conclude, Canada has incredibly extensive laws regarding the rights and obligations of employees and employers. Pretty much any situation that you can think of is covered in these laws and any fringe cases which are extremely rare are of course dealt with based on case law which generally goes in favor of employees.
If you’re ever unsure of the laws then contacting legal specialists such as lawyers in red deer is a great idea. If you’re looking to work in Canada then you can rest easy knowing that you have very good rights and protections against any greedy or malicious practices that somebody may try to employ against you.