The Spring Session of the B.C. Legislature ended on May 30, 2019, and each the Employment Standards Amendment Act and Labour Relations Code Amendment Act have been proclaimed into law on that day. These acts constitute the maximum giant changes in a long time to employment and labour law and all B.C. Employers should be aware of the impact on their companies.
Labour Relations Code amended
The Labour Relations Code Amendment Act, 2019 (Bill 30) received Royal Assent on May 30, 2019, so Bill 30’s amendments to the Labour Relations Code are now in pressure.
The majority of Bill 30 turned into passed because it become at first tabled. However, a unmarried amendment become proposed and exceeded by way of the Liberal and Green Parties.
Section 6 become amended to remove a proposed raiding length during each 12 months of a collective agreement within the production industry. The code will alternatively provide appreciably the identical raiding durations in the creation enterprise as it does other industries in B.C.
These raiding periods occur during the final 12 months if a collective agreement time period is for a term of three years or much less, and throughout the 1/3 12 months and every 12 months thereafter if a collective agreement time period is for three years or more.
Interestingly, it does now not seem that raiding may be authorized after a collective settlement expires, if the expired collective agreement turned into for a term of 3 years or much less. Conversely, if an expired collective agreement become for more than 3 years, raiding will be authorized at some point of any “continuation” of the collective agreement.
Employers should be especially aware of the following amendments that could effect them immediately:
Successorship between contractors
Successorship may occur among contractors, while gotten smaller services are re-tendered and “significantly similar offerings stay finished, in whole or in part, underneath the course of some other contractor.” Currently this provision is limited to the following:
(a) Building cleaning offerings
(b) Security offerings
(c) Bus transportation offerings
(d) Food offerings
(e) Non-clinical services supplied within the fitness zone
This provision will apply retroactively to offerings gotten smaller or re-tendered on or after April 30, 2019.
Going forward, certification votes can be required to be carried out inside 5 enterprise days after programs are made. Votes ought to be conducted in character, until incredible circumstances exist or all events agree in any other case.
“Employer speech” will no longer be usually immune from the unfair labour practice provisions of the code, and guarded speech will most effective enlarge to “statements of truth or opinion reasonably held with element to the employer’s commercial enterprise.” Communications falling outside of this description might also offer a basis for an unfair labour exercise complaint if the conversation interferes with the administration, formation or choice of a union.
Employers are advised to assess any communications or communication plans for the duration of any present day or expected organizing drives.
The “statutory freeze” of fees of pay and different phrases and conditions of employment after new certifications are granted is prolonged from 4 months to 365 days, or when a first collective settlement is reached, whichever is in advance.
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Expedited arbitration techniques
Applications for expedited arbitration under s. 104 of the code should be made inside 15 days of the belief of the grievance process. Mandatory case management conferences have to occur inside seven days of the Board’s appointment of an arbitrator and hearings must be concluded inside ninety days of the utility.
Collective settlement re-opener
After a a success raid, unions inheriting collective agreements with or extra years remaining might also now apply to the Board to have the agreement terminated and collective bargaining started out.
Although it’s miles expected that the Board will most effective grant such re-openers in “awesome” circumstance, it remains to be visible what the ones occasions will entail.
Filing collective agreements and ancillary documents with the Board
Each celebration to a collective agreement is required to document a duplicate of the agreement with the Board. As of May 30, 2019, the Board may also decline to do not forget a collective agreement or ancillary record that a celebration wishes to depend on (i.E. Memorandums of Agreement or Understanding, adjustment plan agreements reached under s. 54), if not properly filed with the Board.
Employers and unions are advised to be diligent in making sure that collective agreements, renewals, and ancillary files are nicely filed.
Employment Standards Act amended
The Employment Standards Amendment Act, 2019 (Bill eight) received Royal Assent on May 30, 2019, so Bill 8’s amendments to the Employment Standards Act, (the ESA) are actually in pressure.
Virtually all of Bill 8 turned into passed because it become at the beginning tabled. The only new addition to the very last model of Bill eight was a leave for sufferers of sexual violence.
Employees are now entitled to acquire a process-blanketed unpaid go away of up to ten days and 15 weeks if they, or an “eligible individual” which includes their youngsters or a based grownup individual beneath their care, experience home or sexual violence, and desire to request a go away for one or extra of the subsequent functions:
(a) to are looking for medical attention for the worker or eligible character in admire of a bodily or psychological injury or incapacity because of the home or sexual violence
(b) to attain for the employee or eligible character sufferer offerings or different social services referring to domestic or sexual violence
(c) to gain for the employee or eligible man or woman psychological or different professional counselling offerings in appreciate of a psychological or emotional situation caused by the home or sexual violence
(d) to quickly or completely relocate the employee or eligible person or each the employee and eligible person
(e) to are seeking felony or law enforcement help for the employee or eligible man or woman, including preparing for or participating in any civil or crook prison proceeding related to the domestic or sexual violence
(f) any prescribed purpose.
Employers ought to be specially aware about the following amendments that can impact them immediately or inside the near destiny:
Collective Agreements. Any collective agreement this is made or renewed after May 30, 2019 has to meet or exceed the requirements in the ESA concerning unique garb; hours of work and overtime; statutory vacations; annual excursion and vacation pay; and seniority retention, do not forget, termination, and layoff.
Employment Standards Complaints. The 12-month wage recovery length now applies to all employment requirements court cases introduced to the Employment Standards Branch which have no longer been decided by way of the Employment Standards Branch or settled as of May 30, 2019.
Unpaid Leaves. In addition to the brand new home or sexual violence go away, essential contamination or injury leave is now prolonged to as much as 36 weeks to care for a significantly ill baby and as much as 16 weeks to care for a significantly sick adult.
Retention of Payroll Records. Employers are actually required to preserve payroll facts for as much as four years after the date on which the payroll statistics had been created. The former requirement became to hold payroll records for 2 years after the employment terminates.
Information About Employee Rights. An employer should make available or offer to every worker, in a shape furnished or authorised by way of the director, statistics approximately the rights of the employee under the ESA.
Gratuities. Employers are prohibited from withholding suggestions or gratuities, deducting quantities from tips, or requiring recommendations to be turned over to them, except for the motive of tip pooling amongst eligible employees.