Everyone could benefit from knowing the basics of employment law. It sets the minimum standards to protect both the employee and the employer and is equally important whether you’re an intern or a business owner. As part of your law studies, you will gain practical knowledge in a range of subjects, including family, real estate, and employment law.
Employment law covers regulations around vacation time, notice periods, health and safety, human rights, and more, and can be an interesting area of specialization for legal professionals. Read on to discover a few key facts about employment law in Canada to get started.
Learn the Difference Between Federal and Provincial Law in a Law Clerk Program
Depending on what industry they are in, Canadian workers are either covered by provincial or federal labor laws. Provincial law varies from province to province, however federal law is the same across the country.
Almost 90% of the Canadian workforce are covered by provincial labor laws, and the rest by federal.
Federal laws cover those working in federal industries such as navigations and shipping, railways and canals, air transportation and aircrafts, radio broadcasting, and international banking. After law clerk training, you will need to make sure that you are familiar with the differences between federal and provincial law as you work on cases in your future career.
Federal Employment Law Gives Employees the Right to General Holiday and Vacation Time
As you may learn in law clerk courses, the Canadian government states that all workers are entitled to eight statutory federal holiday days, including New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Victoria and Canada Day, Labour Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas and Boxing Day. Certain provinces also mandate some other days in the calendar as holidays.
Those who work in hospitals, the emergency services, or the police force may still be required to work these days due to the nature of the job. However, this time should be compensated as holiday pay.
In terms of vacation time, employees are legally entitled to two weeks of paid leave after the first year worked. This should increase to three weeks after five years of employment. This varies from employer to employer, with some choosing to offer more paid vacation to attract new members of staff.
An Employer Should Give Two Weeks’ Notice Before Terminating a Contract
One of the most common reasons that employees go to an employment lawyer is because of dispute around the termination of employment. In Canada, employers must give employees at least two weeks’ notice, or two weeks’ pay, before terminating a contract. Employees can leave an employer without notice unless otherwise stated in a contract.
A New Parent Can Take A Maximum of 78 Weeks Leave
If you are a mother, father, or guardian of a newborn or newly adopted child, you are entitled to a period of time away from work to spend with the newest member of your family. This can either be taken by one parent or split between two. As well as this, a pregnant mother can take 17 weeks of maternity leave before her baby is born. However, the combined maternity leave and parental leave cannot exceed 78 weeks.
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