Changes to the Canada Labour Code came into force on Jan. 1 that will improve workplace safety and equality, says the federal government.
“Making workplaces healthier, safer and fairer will provide Canadians with a real chance to succeed. The regulatory changes coming into force today will create work environments in which federally regulated workers will be better able to achieve their potential. These changes will benefit workers, employers, the economy and all Canadians,” said Minister of Labour Filomena Tassi in a statement Friday.
Bill C-65, the anti-harassment and violence legislation, puts in place a regime that takes all forms of harassment and violence into consideration.
Employers in federally regulated workplaces and parliamentary workplaces must also conduct a workplace assessment, develop a workplace harassment and violence prevention policy, develop and implement violence and harassment training, and establish a thorough process for dealing with incidents.
To improve code compliance, the new administrative monetary penalties, of the code establishes a system that penalizes employers who do not comply with the code’s health and safety, or labour standards. Employers who do not comply could face a monetary penalty of up to $250,000.
Monetary penalties will be calculated based on the type of violation, the size of the business and any previous monetary penalties for violations of the same or higher classification.
Monetary penalties for administrative violations — for example, record keeping and reporting requirements — will not be imposed until Jan. 1, 2022, to provide employers with more time to adjust to the changes.
Equality will be enhanced in the workplace with amendments to the Employment Equity Regulations which introduce new pay transparency measures to raise awareness of the wage gaps experienced by women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities in federally regulated workplaces.
The first release of aggregated wage gap information is expected in the winter of 2023.