On December 17, 2021, Bill C-3, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Canada Labour Code, received Royal Assent. The Bill provides employees covered by the Canada Labour Code with up to 10 days of paid medical leave of absence in a calendar year. Please see our previous Focus Alerts on the original legislation as well as amendments to the medical leave provisions for details on these provisions, which will come into force no later than December 1, 2022.
On July 16, 2022, the federal government proposed regulations to amend certain regulations under the Canada Labour Code for the purpose of supporting the implementation of the incoming paid medical leave (the “Proposed Regulations”).
The Proposed Regulations cover topics including the following:
- Applying the definition of “regular rate of wages” to the calculation of paid medical leave, as currently done for other types of leave such as personal leave;
- Outlining record-keeping obligations in respect of the usage of the leave as well as the retention of documentation relating to medical certificates; and
- Designating various violations of the paid medical leave provisions and regulations for the purposes of the administrative monetary penalties (AMP) regime, as follows:
- The failure to provide leave as required constitutes a Type C violation (related to leave or other requirements, which could have an impact on financial security, or health and safety, of an individual or group of individuals);
- The failure to pay an employee at their regular rate of wages when they take medical leave with pay constitutes a Type B violation (related to the calculation and payment of wages); and
- The failure to comply with the new record-keeping requirements constitutes a Type A violation (related to administrative provisions).
The comment period for the Proposed Regulations is open until August 15, 2022. Those who are interested can provide feedback using the comment feature built into the Proposed Regulations document, as recommended by the Labour Program, or by contacting the Labour Program by e-mail at the address provided in the document.
In Our View
It is important for the Labour Program to understand how the Proposed Regulations will affect covered employers. For example, the Proposed Regulations do not appear to address employer concerns about part-time, casual, and seasonal workers who could be entitled to the same sick leave as full-time employees. This may be a concern for employers with large numbers of employees who do not work full-time hours, or who do not work continuously throughout the year. As a result, we encourage impacted employers to review the Proposed Regulations and provide their feedback prior to the deadline.