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Modern Federal Labour Standards: An update on recent and recommended changes

Thursday, May 21, 2020, 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm EDT

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Noella Martin

Employer Counsel
Wickwire Holm
Christopher Rootham

Union Counsel
Nelligan O'Brien Payne LLP


Kathryn A. Raymond


Heather Cameron

Employer Counsel
Norton Rose Fulbright LLP
Prof. Rafael Gomez

Associate Professor and Director of the Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources
University of Toronto
Patricia Harewood

Legal Officer, Representation and Legal Services Branch
Public Service Alliance of Canada


In December 2019, the Expert Panel on Modern Federal Labour Standards released 39 recommendations that could affect federally regulated workplaces, and Prime Minister Trudeau gave the federal Minister of Labour an ambitious mandate. In this session, experts will provide an update on the status of recent amendments to legislation affecting federally regulated workplaces, discuss the Expert Panel's report, and identify what important changes lie ahead for unions and employers in the federally regulated public and private sectors.

  • How do recent amendments to the Canada Labour Code affect work scheduling and flexible work arrangements in federally regulated workplaces? Have employers or unions encountered any difficulty adapting to these changes?
  • How are workplace parties responding to new obligations regarding workplace violence and harassment? Are elements of the Bill C-65 amendments to the Canada Labour Code or the Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations — for example, prescribed timelines or requirements for the appointment of investigators — likely to pose difficulties for employers or unions?
  • What new obligations do federally regulated employers have regarding employment equity and accessibility?
  • Why was the Expert Panel on Modern Federal Labour Standards created? How did the Panel arrive at its conclusions and recommendations? Which of the Panel's recommendations has the government already acted on? What other recommendations does the government seem receptive to? Which recommendations appear to be "dead in the water"?
  • Why did the panel recommend against creating a statutory right to disconnect at this time? Why has the Minister of Labour been mandated to develop new Canada Labour Code provisions establishing such a right?
  • What recommendations did the Panel make regarding collective voice for non-unionized workers? How have these recommendations been received by employers and unions? Is anything likely to come of these recommendations?
  • What are the Panel's key recommendations regarding protections for workers in non-standard work, access to benefits, and portability? Are some of the recommendations more likely to be implemented now that the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the precariousness of many workers and the public health rationale for increased access to paid time off and income replacement benefits?
  • What steps, if any, has the federal Minister of Labour taken to fulfill her mandate to "include mental health as a specific element of occupational health and safety"? Might the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace become a legal obligation rather than a voluntary standard?

Additional Information

Valuable, up-to-date materials and case summaries will be available for downloading from our website. Each audio conference is accompanied by a PDF of concise summaries of the cases discussed.

Audio conference MP3 files are available for $265. Those who have purchased the live audio conference may purchase the corresponding downloadable audio MP3 file for the discounted price of $165.

The recorded MP3 file and materials are available for download one business day after the live audio conference. After purchasing, you will receive an e-mail with instructions on how to access and download the audio conference MP3 file and materials by visiting My Account and selecting Order History. For audio file purchases for upcoming audio conferences, once the MP3 file is available through our site, registrants will receive an update e-mail informing them that the links are now ready.

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