British Columbia – Amendments to the Employment Standards Act (Bill 6)

New amendments to the British Columbia, Employment Standards Act introduce the following changes beginning 17 May 2018:

  • Parental leave: To be in line with the federal government’s changes to the Employment Insurance Act, expectant mothers will now receive 78 unpaid weeks (instead of 52 weeks) of combined maternity leave and parental leave. The leave can start as early as 13 weeks (instead of 11 weeks) prior to their expected due date. Nonbirth and adoptive parents are now entitled to up to 62 weeks or 15 months of parental leave, within the 78-week or 18-month period.
  • Compassionate care leave entitlement (care for a dying family member) increases from 8 to 27 unpaid weeks within a 52-week period.
  • Introduction of a new unpaid leave of up to 52 weeks in the event of a crime-related child (under age 19) disappearance.
  • Parents of a child who dies under any circumstances before age 19 are entitled to a new unpaid leave of up to 104 weeks or 2 years.

Ontario – Public holiday pay formula, Bill 148

The new public holiday pay formula introduced by the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 (Bill 148) has been very controversial. The new pay formula has been criticized for increasing payroll costs, as it guarantees a day’s pay on a public holiday to employees who worked within the pay period prior to the holiday, instead of the old averaging formula (four pay weeks divided by 20). As a result, the government of Ontario passed an interim measure, Regulation 375/18, to reinstate the pre-Bill 148 formula starting 1 July 2018 (see also November 2017 alert).