LAWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Nov. 11: Remembrance Day has been officially promoted from Canada Labour Code stat holiday to the third national legal holiday established under the federal Holidays Act (Canada Day and Victoria Day are the other 2). The change is more symbolic than substantive. But lawmakers are hoping that this show of love and respect for Remembrance Day will prompt provinces and territories to adopt more generous provisions in their own employment standards laws. Remembrance Day is currently a stat holiday in every jurisdiction except Ontario and Québec. Employees in Nova Scotia and Manitoba also get the day off but there are strings attached.
May 1: A bill designed to promote gender diversity within corporate boardrooms has received Royal assent. Bill C-25 will require corporations to make the procedures for electing directors more transparent and include diversity information in their mandatory disclosure to shareholders.
May 9: The government issued guidance to help temp agencies and the companies that use them sort out a tricky problem: determining which entity is the temp’s “employer” with primary responsibility for compliance with Canada Labour Code obligations. New Labour Standards IPG-068 lists indicators of employer status including:
- Discretion and control over the employee performing the work
- Bearing the burden of remuneration
- Authority to hire, fire and discipline
- Whom the employee perceives his/her employer to be
- Intention to create an employer-employee relationship.
May 8: Bill C-65 expanding employers’ OHS duties to prevent violence and harassment is moving through both chambers and ultimate passage seems only a matter of time. Key provisions:
- Definition of “workplace violence” broadened to include “physiological” injuries and illnesses
- Employer duty to prevent and investigate harassment incidents
- Privacy and reprisal protections for workers who complain of harassment
- New worker right to have complaints investigated by neutral third parties and/or resolve complaints via informal resolution.
- Workers’ right to assert claims against employer for failing to protect them from violence/harassment continues for up to 3 months after employment ends.
April: A 40-year-old “medical admissibility” rule allowing the government to reject individuals applying for permanent residency because they have physical or intellectual disabilities has been officially eliminated.
May: New CRA tax forms and publications issued this month (so far):
- RC4120, Employers’ Guide – Filing the T4 Slip and Summary (end of April)
- T10, Pension Adjustment Reversal
- T1287, Application by a Non-Resident of Canada (Individual) for a Reduction in the Amount of Non-Resident Tax Required to be Withheld on Income Earned From Acting in a Film or Video Production
- T1288, Application by a Non-Resident of Canada (Corporation) for a Reduction in the Amount of Non-Resident Tax Required to be Withheld on Income Earned From Acting in a Film or Video Production.