Canadian government enhances maternity leave benefits, proposes to strengthen harassment and violence prevention

November 26, 2017 - by: Clayton Jones 0 COMMENTS

by Clayton Jones

On November 9, the federal government announced that changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) program relating to parental, maternity, and caregiving benefits will come into effect on December 3. The EI program provides temporary income support to partially replace lost employment income to individuals who are off work for various reasons.

On November 7, the federal government announced legislation to amend the Canada Labour Code, the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act, and the Budget Implementation Act, 2017. Bill C-65 would strengthen existing laws on the prevention of harassment and violence in federally regulated workplaces.

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Double dipping: Can employees get severance plus pension or disability benefits upon termination?

September 11, 2017 - by: Julie Robinson 0 COMMENTS

by Julie Robinson

Employees in Canada are usually entitled to receive reasonable notice of termination or pay in lieu of notice unless fired for cause. But if the employees receive pension or sick leave payments during the notice period, are they entitled to both their regular salary in lieu of notice and such pension or sick leave payments? Should the latter amounts be deducted from the salary otherwise owed by the employer in respect of the notice period?

Double recovery?

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More employee benefits on the horizon for Canadians

July 16, 2017 - by: Hannah Roskey 0 COMMENTS

The year 2017 may be remembered for its significant changes in matters of labor and employment across Canada. Several jurisdictions are amending their labor and employment regimes, including the federal government. With the introduction of Bill C-44, the federal government has adopted significant reforms to the Employment Insurance Act and the Canada Labour Code.

While federally regulated employers will want to pay close attention, it is worth noting that these reforms are already trickling down to the provincial level. Indeed, some provinces have proposed amendments to their provincial employment and labor legislation, all of which signal a trend toward more employer scrutiny in the labor and employment spheres, as well as a shift toward more employee-friendly rules. Employers should be cognizant of these changes as they are implemented at both the federal and provincial levels.

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Alberta Court of Appeal helps employers ring in the New Year in Style(s)

January 15, 2017 - by: Kyla Stott-Jess 0 COMMENTS

by Kyla Stott-Jess

The Alberta Court of Appeal has released its first decision of 2017Styles v. Alberta Investment Management Corporation, 2017 ABCA 1and it is undoubtedly welcome news (and a nice gift) to employers.

The issue of whether or not a dismissed employee is entitled to bonus compensation during the period of reasonable notice has been a hot topic as of late. In Styles, the Alberta Court of Appeal weighed in and concluded that (1) in the event of a without-cause termination, an employer is not obligated to provide the employee with reasons for the termination; and (2) employees are not entitled to bonus payouts where they have not met the contractual preconditions. Suffice it to say, Styles looks to be ringing in a better 2017 for employers.

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‘You must be actively employed to receive bonus’—or not, says Ontario court

October 02, 2016 - by: Shane Todd 0 COMMENTS

by Shane Todd

In an attempt to their limit severance exposure, employers often require that an employee be “actively employed” on the bonus payment date in order to be eligible to earn a bonus. The idea being that the severance payable to a dismissed employee would not have to take into account an employee’s bonus earnings as the employee would not be able to satisfy the “active employment” requirement contained in the applicable bonus plan. However, as the Court of Appeal for Ontario recently confirmed in Paquette v. TeraGo Networks Inc., 2016 ONCA 618, “active employment” requirements are insufficient to remove or limit a dismissed employee’s rights.

What happened

Trevor Paquette was employed by TeraGo Networks for 14 years. He earned a base salary and was eligible for an annual bonus. The bonus plan required Paquette to be “actively employed” at the time the bonus was paid in order to receive it. In November 2014, Paquette was terminated without cause. The parties could not agree on a severance package and so Paquette sued TeraGo for wrongful dismissal. read more…

Benefits beyond age 65?

June 26, 2016 - by: Marc Rodrigue 0 COMMENTS

By Marc Rodrigue

The laws that generally provided for mandatory retirement in Canada have been eliminated. Across Canada, with very few exceptions, employees generally cannot be forced to retire at age 65. But can their benefits be cut off at age 65?

Even if employers are permitted to cut off benefits to workers 65 and older under human rights antidiscrimination laws, are they contractually entitled to do so? Recent labor arbitration decisions indicate that if employers don’t properly contract to cut off benefits, they may not be entitled to cut off benefits at all.

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Incentive plan entitlements on wrongful dismissal

November 08, 2015 - by: Richard Johnston 0 COMMENTS

By Richard E. Johnston

In Canada, the wording of incentive plans can have a significant impact on the payments required on termination without cause. This point was highlighted by three Ontario decisions earlier this year. read more…

No short-term disability benefits for tummy tuck recovery

February 08, 2015 - by: Louise Bechamp 0 COMMENTS

by Louise Béchamp

In an interesting case, the Superior Court of Quebec in Syndicat des agents de la paix en services correctionnels du Québec v. Pineau confirmed on judicial review an earlier arbitration decision denying an employee short-term disability benefits for the recovery period following cosmetic surgery. read more…

Insuring long-term disability insurance

October 26, 2014 - by: Richard Johnston 0 COMMENTS

by Richard E. Johnston

In Canada, benefit plans are subject to legislation related to income tax, human rights, and employment standards. However, there is little specific regulation of benefit plans other than pension plans. A key exception is the provision of long-term disability benefits that are not funded under an insurance contract—at least for federally regulated employers such as the banks, airlines, inter-provincial trucking companies, and employers in Ontario. read more…

Duties more important than titles when determining eligibility for overtime

August 03, 2014 - by: Marc Ouellet 0 COMMENTS

by Marc Ouellet

The issue of overtime has become a major concern for employers in the wake of class actions on the subject in Canada. The Québec Act Respecting Labour Standards (ALS) provides exemptions from the right to overtime including for employees in managerial positions. In Skiba v. Playground, L.P., the Court of Appeal of Québec recently clarified which employees may be exempt as “managers” in Quebec. While the applicable statutes vary across Canada, the fundamental principles applied are similar. Thus this decision may have persuasive value outside of Quebec. read more…

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