October 27, 2008

Amendments to the Act respecting labour relations: the employment relationship of reservists is henceforth protected

The Bill to amend the Act respecting labour standards principally with regard to reservists was adopted on October 22, 2008. New measures henceforth allow an employee who is a reservist with the Canadian Forces to be absent from work, without pay, for a period of up to 18 months to participate in a mission abroad.  

In addition, subject to the conditions stipulated in the Act, an employee who is a reservist may also avail himself of such a leave to intervene in Canada in a major disaster or in an emergency situation. In all cases, the employee will be able to return to his usual job after his mission. 

Minor amendments to the Act respecting labour standards 

The Bill also makes clarifications to the Act respecting labour standards with respect to absences and leaves for family or parental reasons.  

The Act has been amended to clarify the notion of the cohabitation of spouses in instances where one of them is absent.  This is the case of spouses who are permanently hospitalized or incarcerated, and spouses who are temporarily absent for their work in another region or abroad. These employees are now entitled to the same leaves as spouses who live together. 

Another change concerns the paternity leave. Previously, the Act did not specify the time period concerning the notice that the employee had to give his employer before taking this leave. A father must henceforth give a written notice of at least three weeks to his employer. However, this time period may be shorter if the child’s birth occurs sooner than expected. 

Monitor our web site over the upcoming weeks to be informed of the entry into force of these amendments.   

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