Recent and Upcoming Changes for Federally Regulated Employers

HEL Blog post
Published On: August 17, 2023Categories: Employer Alerts, Federal

Federally regulated employers need to be aware there have been a number of amendments to the Canada Labour Code and its regulations made and announced in the past few months, introducing new requirements for employers. Briefly, the new requirements and their effective dates are:

Effective Dates

New Requirement
July 8, 2023 Reimbursement for Work-Related Expenses
Informational Materials Relating to Rights and Obligations

Employment Statement



December 15, 2023


Sanitary Products


February 1, 2024


New Termination Notice Requirements

Statement of Benefits

We discuss the recent developments and new requirements in greater detail below.

Reimbursement for Work-Related Expenses

As of July 9, 2023, federally regulated employers are required to reimburse employees for “reasonable work-related expenses” unless exempted by a regulation under the Code. The following factors are considered in determining whether an expense is work-related and reasonable:

Work-Related Factors Reasonable Factors
  • Is it connected with the employee’s performance of work?
  • Is it connected with the employee’s performance of work?
  • Does it enable an employee to perform work?
  • Does it enable an employee to perform work?
  • Whether it is required by an employer as a condition of employment or continued employment
  • Whether the employer requests it
  • Whether it satisfies a requirement for the employee’s work by an occupational health or safety standard?
  • Whether the amount incurred is beyond what is necessary for the work
  • Whether it is normally reimbursed by employers in similar industries
  • Whether the employer authorized the expense in advance
  • Whether the expense is incurred by the employee in good faith
  • Whether the claim includes documentation, such as a receipt or invoice, that indicates that the expense was incurred


This new requirement only applies to expenses incurred on or after July 9, 2023.

We note that the Code states that employees are not entitled to reimbursements for expenses that they have agreed to pay in writing. This appears to suggest employers and employees can expressly agree to contract out of this new requirement for certain expenses, although whether that will extend to these new reimbursable class of expense is unclear.

Information Relating to Rights and Obligations

As of July 9, 2023, employers are required to provide employees with a copy of informational materials that the Ministry of Labour makes available, that set out the employee’s rights and obligations under Part III of the Code.

 As of the date of this article, the Ministry has not released the informational materials. Once the materials are publicly available, employers will have 90 days to provide them to all current employees. For new employees, employers will be required to provide the materials within the first 30 days of employment. Whenever a new version of the materials is released, employers have 30 days to provide employees with the updated version.

These materials must also be posted in the workplace.

On termination, the employer is required to provide a copy of the most recent version of the materials that relate to terminations of employment.

Employers will need to send the informational materials to all existing employees once they become available. For new hires going forward, employers need to enclose the informational materials (once available) with their job offers.

Statement of Terms of Employment

As of July 9, 2023, employers are required to provide employees with a written statement containing specific information about the employee’s job. For employees hired prior to July 9, 2023, employers must provide the statement by October 7, 2023. For employees hired after July 9, 2023, employers must provide the statement within the first 30 days of their employment. If there are any changes to the information on the statement, employers must provide an updated version within 30 days of that change.

The employment statement must include:

  • The names of the parties;
  • Job title;
  • A brief description of job duties;
  • Address of ordinary place of work;
  • Starting date;
  • Term of employment;
  • Probationary period, if any;
  • Necessary qualifications;
  • Required training;
  • Hours of work, including information on the calculation of those hours and rules regarding overtime hours;
  • Salary/wages and rate of overtime pay;
  • Frequency of pay days and the payment of other remuneration;
  • Deductions from wages; and
  • How the employee can claim reimbursement for work-related expenses.

Employment and Social Development Canada has provided a template for employers.

Employers must retain the employment statement for 36 months after the employment ends.

Although most large and medium size employers issue a letter of hire or employment agreement that would contain most of the above information, more informal employers will need to prepare a document that complies. Those who do issue letters/agreements need to revise them to ensure all the points above are covered.

If your organization is not already using a written employment agreement when hiring, we recommend you contact us to arrange to do so.

Sanitary Products

As of December 15, 2023, employers must provide menstrual products, including clean and hygienic tampons and menstrual pads, in each toilet room. If it is not feasible to have products in each washroom, employers may have the products available in another accessible place with reasonable privacy.

Employers will also need to provide a covered container for the disposal of menstrual products in each washroom with only one toilet or in each bathroom stall if there are multiple toilets.

 New Termination Notice Requirements

Effective February 1, 2024, new termination notice requirements will come into force for federally regulated employers. Employers who terminate an employee will be required to provide the following notice, wages in lieu, or a combination of both based on the employee’s consecutive length of service:

Length of Service Notice Requirements
3 months 2 weeks
3 years 3 weeks
4 years 4 weeks
5 years 5 weeks
6 years 6 weeks
7 years 7 weeks
8 years 8 weeks

Note, this will not alter an employee’s additional entitlement under the Code to statutory severance pay which applies to without cause terminations after one year of service and set 2 days pay per year of service with a minimum of 5 days.

The above notice periods will increase the notice requirements under the Code to be more in line with provincial employment standards requirements. However, the actual application of the new notice periods will be limited as it will not apply to:

  1. Employees terminated for just cause (including lack of work or discontinuance of function);
  2. Employees entitled to invoke the “Unjust Dismissal” remedy under the Code: we believe this only applies where the employer is firing for just cause;
  3. “Group terminations”, where 50 or more employees are terminated in a four-week period. In those situations, only the longer group termination notice requirements must be met;
  4. Employees with contractual entitlements that are greater than the minimum notice required.

Federal employers using termination clauses in employment agreements will need to review and update those clauses. It is important to ensure they comply with these new requirements to avoid a court holding they are invalid.

Statement of Benefits

 Also as of February 1, 2024, an employer must give a terminated employee a written Statement of Benefits setting out their:

  1. Vacation benefits: this would consist of a statement of the number of unused vacation days accrued as of termination and the amount of vacation pay being paid out;
  2. Final Wages;
  3. Severance pay: this, in our view, should include pay in lieu of notice; and
  4. Other benefits and pay arising from their employment: this could include, for example, payout of banked overtime.

Employers must provide the Statement of Benefits as soon as possible and, depending on the method of termination, no later than the following:


Method of Termination Timing
Working Notice At least two weeks before the effective termination date
Wages in lieu of notice On or before the termination date
Combination of notice and wages At least two weeks before the effective termination date or the day on which the employee is given notice

While most employers prepare a termination letter that would contain all the information required, some more informal employers will need to ensure that termination entitlements are clearly set out in writing on termination as required by the above.

If you want more information about these new requirements or have questions about how best to comply, you can contact us at:

Geoffrey Howard:

604 424-9686

Sebastian Chern:

604 424-9688