Changing Legislation: Is your employee handbook up-to-date?

Sep 20, 2019 | HR Compliance

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We are a few days shy of the end of summer. Goodbye summer, hello fall!


Fall marks a new start and opportunity for us to take that step back, breathe and re-evaluate our business before year-end approaches.


With so many recent changes to our employment legislation, both provincially and federally, there’s no better time than now to ask “Are your employee handbooks and policies up-to-date?”. Over the past few months, we have seen significant changes to our BC Employment Standards Act and Canada Labour Code. These changes warrant a re-evaluation of your employee/HR handbook to ensure that your policies continue to be aligned with the current legislation.


What are the changes to employment legislation?


The significant changes to employment standards apply to both provincially (Employment Standards Act) and federally (Canada Labour Code) regulated companies.


Employment Standards Act of BC


Changes effective May 30, 2019.


Some of the notable changes include:

  • Expanded definition of immediate family
  • Child employment protections
  • New protected leaves of absence
  • Extended wage recovery period
  • Treatment of tips and gratuities
  • Treatment of resignation
  • Licensing of farm labour contractors and temporary help agencies
  • Amendments to collective agreement provisions
  • Record keeping (period of 4 years)


To read about the specifics of the changes, visit the Employment Standards Act of BC:


Canada Labour Code


Changes effective September 1, 2019.


Some of the notable changes include:

  • Removal of minimum service requirement to be eligible for general holiday pay, maternity leave, parental leave, critical illness leave and death or disappearance leave
  • Medical, meal and nursing breaks
  • Time off between shifts
  • Shift changes
  • Scheduling notice
  • Annual vacation
  • Substituting general holidays
  • Bereavement leave
  • New protected leaves of absence
  • Overtime (banking and right to refuse)
  • Flexible work arrangements


To read about the specifics of the changes, visit the Canada Labour Code:


So, how does your current employee handbook compare to the changes above? Having compliant policies isn’t a nice-to-have, it is a must-have. Investing that time to review your policies and make the necessary changes to ensure full compliance with legislation is crucial.


Stay tuned for our next blog on best practices around how to roll-out your revised employee handbook and HR policies.


The content of this blog is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and is not meant as legal advice. Expert advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.




Let Upskill Consulting guide you in the next step of your Human Resources journey. We’re here to help!




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Sofia Arisheh

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