As of January 1, 2021, key legislation has come into force which creates new requirements and compliance mechanisms affecting federally regulated employers.
The Administrative Monetary Penalties (Canada Labour Code) Regulations (the “AMP Regulations”) are now in force. The objective of the AMP Regulations is to implement a new administrative monetary penalties regime and the public naming of violators as compliance and enforcement mechanisms of the Code. The AMP Regulations are intended to improve working conditions for workers under federal jurisdiction.
Prior to this new legislation, compliance under Part II and Part III of the Code was achieved using approaches including counselling, investigation of complaints, and workplace inspection. The Government has said that monetary penalties will generally be issued after voluntary compliance measures have been exhausted unless the nature of the violation and/or the employer’s history of compliance dictate otherwise.
It should be noted that the penalty assessed under the AMP Regulations can be significant, and up to a maximum of $250,000 for a violation. Further, employers who violate the Code may have their employer name, the nature of the violation, the penalty amount, and certain other information published publically.
The Work Place Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations (the “Work Place Harassment and Violence Regulations”) also came into force on January 1, 2021, along with related amendments to the Code. The Federal Government also published Interpretations, Policies and Guidelines (IPGs) on November 30, 2020. The Work Place Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations create new requirements for employers to protect employees from harassment and violence, which can include sexual harassment. New requirements include that employers must evaluate risk factors for workplace harassment and violence in the workplace, create a workplace harassment and violence policy, and create a new resolution process for complaints of occurrences of harassment and violence. Employers will now also be required to record, report and provide training on occurrences of workplace harassment and violence.
Employers should ensure that they understand and are in compliance with this new legislation. If you require further information, please contact any member of Alexander Holburn’s Labour + Employment Group.