Every country has its own set of employee rights and standards. While each strives to ensure the safety and fairness in the workplace, subtle differences could create issues for your transferees – especially if they aren’t aware of Canada’s specific laws and guaranteed rights. A smooth relocation means helping transferees understand worker’s rights in Canada.

If you are transferring an employee from an overseas office to take a supervisor position in Canada, it will help that person better understand how to treat his or her employees. If you are relocating lower level employees, they will feel more secure knowing their rights. Canada offers plenty of resources. You can visit Canada’s webpages on Workers Rights in Canada and Equality in the Workplace, But to start you off, here are is some vital information about Workers Rights in Canada.

Employment Standard Acts

  • In Canada, each province and territory creates its own set of employment laws, and each has it’s own legislation. If you have offices in more than one Canadian province, your relocating employees could be beholden to slightly different laws. Legislation covers laws for hours of work, sick days, required meal breaks, termination notice, minimum wage, severance packages, the right to have public holidays off work with pay, overtime rates, pay schedule, sexual harassment and more.
  • It’s important for your transferees to understand that under employment acts, not all workers are subject to the same employment standards – there is some variation depending on they kind of employee somebody is – oil field workers, home care givers, managers, commercial fishers and others maybe has variation in their rights. The government of Canada provides this example: farm workers can be paid a piece rate, rather than minimum wage.
  • While most workers are covered by provincial or territorial laws, about 10 per cent of Canadian workers are employed by businesses that are regulated federally. They employees’ rights are protected unto the Labour Program, and the Federal Labour Standards.

Discrimination and Human Rights

  • Your transferees will be pleased to know that human rights are deeply woven into the framework of Canadian life and work. Rights are protected by the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA) and the Employment Equity Act (EEA). While the CHRA is the document that forbids discrimination in general, the EEA promotes fair working condition and encourages the accommodation of differences for women, aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities. Be sure to be familiar with these important Canadian documents, and make sure your transferees are, as well.
  • Discrimination against workers based on age, race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability, marital status, or religion is strictly forbidden. If your transferring supervisor is approached by an employee who feels he or she has been the victim of discrimination or harassment, it is their responsibility to address and eliminate the problem. Employees in Canada have the right to speak with their union, provincial/territorial humans rights commission, or the Canadian Human Rights Commission if their supervisor is unable to resolve the instance of harassment or discrimination.

Health and Safety Workers Rights in Canada

  • Canada takes workplace health and safety seriously, so it’s important that you inform your transferring supervisors about their responsibilities to ensure workplace accidents or injuries are dealt with in a quick and supportive manner.
  • Your employees should feel relieved to know that if they become injured in the workplace, your company in Canada will help ensure further damage is avoided. Federal, provincial and territorial legislation ensures with.  Inform your transferees about your company’s safety policy before they arrive in Canada, so should an unfortunate accident occur, they will know what to do!
  • According to the Canadian Government, all workers in Canada have the right to a healthy work environment, and it’s each employee’s basic right to refuse to work when they feel the workplace presents dangers to themselves, or to their fellow workers. Supervisors have the responsibility to look into the matter, and resolve it.

For additional information, you might also be interested in this article on Cultural Integration.