Federal and Provincial Employment Laws

Employees are covered by provincial labour legislation unless the company operates in the communications, finance or transport industries. Employees of those industries, plus employees of the federal government are usually covered by the Canada Labour Code. Generally speaking, if an employer is in one of the following industries, then more likely than not the Canada Labour Code applies:

  • banks
  • marine shipping, ferry and port services
  • air transportation, including airports, aerodromes and airlines
  • railway and road transportation that involves crossing provincial or international borders
  • canals, pipelines, tunnels and bridges (crossing provincial borders)
  • telephone, telegraph and cable systems
  • radio and television broadcasting
  • grain elevators, feed and seed mills
  • uranium mining and processing
  • businesses dealing with the protection of fisheries as a natural resource
  • many First Nation activities
  • most federal Crown corporations
  • private businesses necessary to the operation of a federal act

Otherwise, provincial legislation applies. Employment law is complex and differs from province to province. Every labor jurisdiction has laws governing the employer/employee relationship and you should familiarize yourself with the basic employment laws in your area. There is significant information available on the internet via well organized, easy to navigate government websites. Here are some you will find useful: