We are providing this information to remind all federal employers that on July 9th, 2023, numerous changes under the Canada Labour Code became effective, including the following:
- Information related to employment;
- Reimbursement of reasonable work-related expenses; and
- The requirement to provide menstrual products for workers.
In accordance with the legislation, Employers have an obligation to provide employees with relevant materials containing information about their rights and obligations, as provided by the Minister of Labour. This is required to be done within 90 days from either July 9, 2023, or the date the materials are made available by the Ministry of Labour for existing employees. New employees should receive this information within their first 30 days of employment. The information must also be conspicuously displayed in accessible locations. If an employee’s job ends, they should receive the latest version of materials concerning employment termination.
The written statement provided by employers to employees must contain details regarding their employment arrangement, including the parties involved, job description, work location, start date, employment term, probation period, qualifications, required training, working hours, pay rates, payment frequency, deductions, and information on claiming work-related expenses. This statement should be provided within 90 days of either July 9, 2023, or the date the materials were made available, and new employees should receive it within 30 days of starting their job. Employers must update this statement within 30 days of any changes and retain copies for 3 years after the employee leaves the company.
Reimbursement of Work Expenses
Employers are obligated to compensate their employees for reasonable expenses incurred in relation to their work. The regulations of the Canada Labour Code (CLC) specify criteria for identifying “work-related” expenses, including factors like whether the expense is necessary for the employee to perform their duties, whether it’s required by the employer, whether it aligns with occupational health or safety standards, and whether it serves a legitimate business purpose rather than personal use.
The regulations also outline what constitutes a “reasonable” expense, taking into account factors such as whether:
- Whether the expense is connected to the employee’s performance of work;
- Whether the expense is incurred to enable an employee to perform work;
- Whether it is incurred at the request of the employer;
- Whether any amounts of expense is incurred beyond the amount necessary to enable the performance of the work;
- Whether the expense is one that is normally reimbursed by employers in similar industries;
- Whether the employer authorized the expense in advance;
- Whether the expense is incurred by the employee in good faith; and
- Whether the claim includes documentation, such as a receipt or invoice, that indicates that the expense was incurred.
Types of expenses may include equipment that an employee requires, training, travel expenses, or safety equipment.
Reimbursement for employees’ expenses should be processed within 30 days of submitting a claim if there’s no existing collective agreement dictating a different timeframe.
Starting December 15, 2023, changes to the regulations will require federally regulated employers to make menstrual products available in workplace restroom facilities. If this is not feasible, the products must be provided elsewhere on the premises. Employers must also provide a designated container for their disposal, in any toilet room that has only one toilet and each toilet compartment where a washroom has numerous toilets.
The Government is preparing additional guidance for employers, which should be available prior to December 15, 2023.