Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Federally Regulated Employees - Part 2: Your Basic Rights

Hours of Work
The Canada Labour Code defines a work day as 8 hours, and a work week as 40 hours per week. Hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week (“overtime”) should be paid at a rate of not less than one-half times the regular rate of pay, and you can’t be required to work more than 48 hours per week.

Reporting Pay
If you show up to work at the request of your employer, you are entitled to a minimum of 3 hours of regular pay, even if there is no work to perform.

Statutory Holidays
Under the CLC, you are entitled to 9 paid statutory holidays per year. If a holiday falls on your day off, you are still entitled to holiday pay. You and your employer can add a day to your annual vacation or your employer can grant you a holiday with pay on a mutually agreeable day. When New Year’s Day, Canada Day, Remembrance Day, Christmas Day or Boxing Day fall on a weekend day that is a non-working day, you are entitled to a holiday with pay on the work day that immediately precedes or follows the holiday. The next statutory holiday will be Canada Day.

Sick Leave
As a federally regulated employee, you are protected for absences not exceeding 12 weeks and you will be required to provide a medical certificate after you have returned to work. The CLC protects you against dismissal, demotion, layoff or suspension because of an absence due to illness or injury. If a loved one becomes ill, you may apply for “Compassionate Care Leave” which allows for all employees to apply for up to 8 weeks of time off to care for and to support a family member who is seriously ill.

Maternity and Parental Leave
You are entitled to up to 17 weeks of maternity leave if you have completed 6 consecutive months of continuous employment. You can take this leave any time during the period that begins 11 weeks before your expected date of delivery and ends 17 weeks after the actual delivery date. You must provide your employer with written notice of your intent to take your maternity leave at least four weeks prior to your maternity leave. You and your spouse are also entitled to a maximum of 37 weeks of “parental leave” which can be shared in any proportion, so long as the aggregate is less than 52 weeks. For example, a woman who has opted to take the entire 17 week entitlement of maternity leave may only claim a maximum of 35 weeks parental leave.

Next instalment - Part 3: Have You Been Dismissed?