10 Interesting Tidbits About Canadian Employment Law

10 Interesting Tidbits About Canadian Employment Law

While having a common history and shared understanding, Canada comprises provinces and territories that have jurisdiction over their own separate employment law regimes. While the commonalities outweigh the differences, in celebration of Canada Day, here are ten Canadian employment law tidbits that demonstrate the diversity of our Provinces’ approaches to employment law.

British Columbia

In British Columbia, employees can take up to 5 days of paid leave per year for any personal illness or injury. This is the most generous mandatory paid leave in Canada (outside of federally regulated employees).


In Alberta, a recent development in tort law may have implications in the employment law context. In Alberta Heath Services v. Johnston, 2023 ABKB 209. Justice Feasby recognized a new tort of harassment in Alberta. This approach differs from Ontario & British Columbia, which have either rejected or severely restricted this tort.


In Saskatchewan, an adjudicator for employment law disputes was in hot water when the Ombudsman Saskatchewan, in an investigative report, found that a decision that required the adjudicator to provide written reasons within 60 days of a hearing had not been produced after over two years of the hearing date.


In Manitoba, no person is allowed to employ a person under the age of 13. This blanket prohibition contrasts with other provinces that may provide permission to work. For example, Ontario and BC specifically allow children under the age of 12 to work in the entertainment industry.


As of October 25, 2021, In Ontario, it is illegal for employers to enter into an employment contract with an employee that includes a non-compete agreement. This only affects non-compete agreements that are entered into after October 25, 2021.


Employees in Quebec that have worked for the same employer continuously for more than two years can only be dismissed for good and sufficient cause.

Nova Scotia

In Nova Scotia, the Remembrance Day Act generally prohibits people from working or selling goods on Remembrance Day. Employees that are allowed to work and choose to work on Remembrance Day are entitled to a different day off at regular pay.

However, some employees are not eligible for an alternative day off with pay even if they work on Remembrance Day. One such industry where this legislation does not apply is Christmas Tree Operations.

New Brunswick 

The New Brunswick Employment Standards Act explicitly requires employers to provide written reasons when terminating an employee for cause; otherwise, the dismissal is considered invalid. 

Prince Edward Island

In PEI, the Youth Employment Act governs employment law specifically for youth. The legislation is written in a plain-spoken way that is more reminiscent of a parent than a government. Examples are as follows:

  • No employer shall employ a young person in employment that is or is likely to be harmful to the health or safety or moral or physical development of the young person.
  • No employer shall employ any young person in construction.
  • No employer shall employ a young person for more than three hours on any school day.

Newfoundland & Labrador

In Newfoundland & Labrador, the overtime pay rate is tied to its minimum wage, not the wage the worker earns. Simply put, overtime pay is calculated by taking the current provincial minimum wage and multiplying it by 1.5.

If You Have Question, We Can Help

If you’re an employer or employee in British Columbia and have questions about your rights and Canadian employment law, our HR Consultant and Employment Law Specialists at Spraggs Law are here to help. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 604 359 1618 or online today.

Please note: This article does not contain legal advice. If you would like advice on your specific situation, please contact Spraggs Law.