The vast majority of employment laws in Canada are set at the provincial level, so companies should check the rules that apply to the province (or provinces) where they intend to operate.
Provincial employment laws are published on their respective provincial websites which can be found here:
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland & Labrador
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
Several industries, however, are regulated federally and so their employment laws are set by the federal government instead. In these industries, working hours of eight per day and 40 per week are standard.
Equality is a core part of Canadian employment legislation. Businesses should familiarise themselves with the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Employment Equity Act, which protects the rights of women, disabled people and other minority groups, and bans discrimination along with a variety of different characteristics.
Probation periods are also set at provincial level but are three months or 90 days in the vast majority of cases. Minimum notice periods are one week for those with less than two years’ service, after which employees are entitled to one week’s notice per year of service, up to a maximum of 12 weeks.