I am new to Canadian labor law and have a question about providing leave to exempt employees:
We are a US based organization with a total of 4 Canadian employees, 3 in Alberta and 1 in Ontario (all are considered exempt). From my understanding, exempt employees in Canada are excluded from Canadian labor laws. I guess my question is what types of leave should we offer our Canadian employees in order to remain compliant? Or what are best practices when it comes to Exempt employees and protected leave?
Any thoughts or resources would be greatly appreciated!
This is actually quite a complex question.
First, its important for the employer to understand there are at least 3 different sets of legislation that govern employment in Canada:
- What are termed the employment standards, that define things like minimum wages and vacation pay;
- Human rights legislation relating to discrimination in employment; and
- Labour law that deals with unions and collective agreements.
As I understand the phrase “exempt employee”, this is most commonly a reference to labour, rather than employment standards or human rights legislation. No employee is exempt in Canada from human rights legislation. Some employees, typically management or professional personnel, are exempt from portions or all of a province’s employment standards.
By “exempt employee”, I take it your speaking of the labour law sense defined above.
Second, each province has a set of leaves, termed loosely protected leaves, that the employer must provide. To describe these fully would take some considerable time. Here are the relevant portion of the Alberta and Ontario employment standards web sites:
- https://www.ontario.ca/document/your-guide-employment-standards-act-0#section-1 (look for the leave items)
Alan R. McEwen
Alan McEwen & Associates
250-228-5280 In the Pacific time zone