Six Things You Might Not Know About Employment in Canada

Each country has its own laws about employment, and as any employment lawyer can tell you, Canada is no exception. Even if you’ve been in the workforce for a while, you might not be aware of some of the laws regarding things such as sick and annual leave, minimum wage, and several others. If you’re just entering the workforce, these things are important for you to learn, but don’t worry because they aren’t difficult to understand. Below are a few employment laws you should keep in mind as you hunt for a job.

1. Employers Have to Do Certain Things for Their Employees

Under Canadian employment law, there are minimum requirements that outline exactly what employers are required to do for their employees. In other words, there are legal requirements that must meet minimum standards when it comes to how employees are treated on the job. Many employers choose to do more than the minimum, but the minimum is a good place to start and covers some very important areas of the workplace. It’s good to know that these minimum requirements are in place and you are therefore well-protected.

2. Minimum Standards Include the Important Things

Certain standards in the workplace are expected of employers, and these standards are set by the legislature. One of the reasons this is done is because there should be some uniformity across the entire workforce, but it is also there to make sure certain standards of work practice are met. These minimum standards include a minimum wage, minimum working hours, and minimum annual holidays. Keep in mind that the minimum wage tends to increase every year.

3. Certain Mandatory Benefits Exist for Employees

An employment lawyer is familiar with the mandatory benefits that now apply to employees, but if you’re not, just know that these benefits include a certain number of days of sick leave, annual vacation, maternity and paternity leave, and critical illness leave each and every year. It is also a requirement that employment insurance contributions and Canadian Pension Plan contributions be made. Like other benefits, these are statutory in nature.

4. Written Employment Contracts Are Not Mandatory

Regarding employment contracts, written ones are not required by law. Nevertheless, the Canadian government encourages every employer to create written employment contracts for their employees because they provide clarity for both the employees and their employers. To be sure, these types of contracts ensure that both sides understand what is expected of them so that there are no misunderstandings or problems anytime in the future.

5. Canadians Have a Legal “Right to Disconnect”

According to Canadian employment law, all citizens have a right to disconnect, which means you cannot be legally required to work when you’re not on the clock. This includes checking company emails and making phone calls. This law was put into place to prevent employee burnout, but it is also a good law because it isn’t fair to expect employees to work when they’re not getting paid. It’s also good because both employers and employees deserve a better work/life balance.

6. Provincial Laws Can Be Different

An employment lawyer will tell you that it’s best to check both federal and provincial laws regarding your employment because occasionally, they might vary a little. Your employer will know the applicable laws and rules for your particular company, but you can also look online if you need additional information. Regardless of where you work, knowing these laws is important so there are no misunderstandings or confusion, but you don’t have to worry about memorizing the laws because the information is always close by and easy to find.