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Bill C-86, the Budget Implementation Act, No. 2 (the “Bill”), received Royal Assent on December 13, 2018. The Bill, affects federally-regulated workplaces under the Canada Labour Code (the “Code”) and introduces substantial changes, many of which are set to come into effect in 2019 with staggered implementation dates.

The table below summarizes some of the key legislative changes introduced by the Bill and the relative implementation dates.

Change Summary Implementation Date
Vacation Pay Minimum vacation entitlements will be increased as follows:

  • 1 year of service: 2 weeks’ vacation (or 4% vacation pay)
  • 5 years of service: 3 weeks’ vacation (or 6% vacation pay)
  • 10 years of service: 4 weeks’ vacation (or 8% vacation pay)
September 1, 2019
Holiday Pay The Bill eliminates the 30-day service requirement for an employee to be entitled to holiday pay for a general holiday. September 1, 2019
Rest Periods Employees will be entitled to a 30-minute unpaid break for each five consecutive hours of work, and if an employee is required to remain available to work during that break, the break will be paid.


Employees will be entitled to eight consecutive hours free from work between each work period or shift.


Employees will be entitled to unpaid breaks that are necessary for medical reasons or for an employee who is nursing.

September 1, 2019
Notice of Schedule Employers will be required to provide employees with written notice of their work schedules at least 96 hours before the start of their first work period or shift. Some limited exceptions will be made for certain employees who are subject to collective agreements which contemplate alternative scheduling. To be fixed at a later date
Notice of Individual Terminations The Code current requires that employers provide a minimum of two weeks’ notice of termination. Under the Bill, notice requirements are increased as follows:

  • 3 months of continuous service: 2 weeks’ notice
  • 3 years of continuous service: 3 weeks’ notice
  • 4 years of continuous service: 4 weeks’ notice
  • 5 years of continuous service: 5 weeks’ notice
  • 6 years of continuous service: 6 weeks’ notice
  • 7 years of continuous service: 7 weeks’ notice
  • 8 years of continuous service: 8 weeks’ notice
To be fixed at a later date
Group Terminations Employers who terminate the employment of 50 or more employees in any period not exceeding four weeks must, among other requirements, give a prior notice of at least 16 weeks to the Minister of Labour, as well as an individual notice or severance pay to the employees affected. Under Bill C-86, an employer is permitted to pay such employees 16 weeks’ wages and to give the Minister of Labour a notice of at least 48 hours. To be fixed at a later date, but to be set no earlier than September 1, 2019
Equal Pay The Bill will amend the Code such that no employee (including part-time, casual, contract or seasonal) may be paid less than what is paid to full-time employees who perform the same job unless there are objective reasons to justify a differential wage rate.


Employers will be prohibited from reducing an employee’s rate of wages in order to comply with the equal treatment obligation.

To be fixed at a later date, but to be set no earlier than September 1, 2019
Personal Leave Family Responsibility Leave will be replaced with five days of personal leave, with the first three days being paid after three months of continuous employment.


Under the Bill, every employee is entitled to five days of personal leave per calendar year for the purposes of:

  • Treating their illness or injury;
  • Carrying out responsibilities related to the health or care of any of their family members;
  • Carrying out responsibilities related to the education of any of their family members who are under 18 years of age;
  • Addressing any urgent matter concerning themselves or their family members;
  • Attending their citizenship ceremony under the Citizenship Act; and
  • Any other reason prescribed by regulation.
To be fixed at a later date
Leave for Court of Jury Duty Employees will be entitled to leave to act as witnesses or jurors in a judicial proceeding or to participate in a jury selection process September 1, 2019
Medical Leave “Sick Leave” provisions within the Code will be called “Medical Leave” and an employee will be entitled to a medical leave of absence from employment of up to 17 weeks as a result of personal illness or injury, organ or tissue donation, or medical appointments during working hours.


In the case of an absence of three days or longer, the employer may require that the employee provide a certificate issued by a health care practitioner certifying that the employee was incapable of working for the period of time that they were absent from work.

September 1, 2019
Leave for Victims of Family Violence The Bill will amend the Code to provide five days of paid leave for victims of family violence. To be fixed at a later date
Other Leaves Employees will no longer be required to complete six months of continuous service before being entitled to Maternity Leave, Parental Leave, a Leave Related to Critical Illness or a Leave Related to Death or Disappearance. September 1, 2019


The Bill will introduce further changes, including to the unjust dismissal complaint mechanism, temporary help agencies, occupational health and safety aspects of the Code, and the Employment Insurance Act.

Federally-regulated employers should take immediate steps to address the impact the Bill, including reviewing all existing policies and procedures for compliance. For further information on Bill C-86 or related issues, please contact the Toronto employment lawyers at Sultan Lawyers at 416-214-5111.

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