In Parry Sound the Supreme Court of Canada added human rights laws and labour legislation to the list of implicit content of collective agreements. However, in a recent decision the court limited the application of Parry Sound, stating that in order for a grievance arbitrator to have jurisdiction, the collective agreement must provide for the right to severance pay.
The Ending Mandatory Retirement Statute Law Amendment Act 2005 has removed the upper limit of 65 years from the definition of 'age' in the Ontario Human Rights Code. As a result, employers can no longer force employees to retire at the age of 65 under a mandatory retirement policy unless there is a "bona fide occupational requirement" for doing so (likely to be limited to safety-sensitive positions).
The Ontario government recently enacted the Spousal Relationships Statute Law Amendment Act, which amends over 70 Ontario statutes, including the Pension Benefits Act. Among other things, the definition of 'spouse' set out in the Pension Benefits Act has been amended to cover both same-sex spouses and opposite-sex spouses.
The Ontario minister of labour has introduced legislation that envisages the end of mandatory retirement in the province. If the legislation is passed, Ontario will join Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec, Prince Edward Island and the three territories in having no set mandatory retirement age.
The right to a workplace environment free from psychological harassment became law in Quebec on June 1 2004. On that date, the Quebec Labour Standards Act was amended to introduce provisions prohibiting psychological harassment in the workplace and to establish a statutory complaint mechanism to ensure compliance and redress.
Virtually all employers impose a probationary period on newly hired employees. Employment contracts generally define this period as a predetermined amount of time worked in a job. However, it is not always clear how the probationary period is affected if an employee suffers an employment-related injury within this period.