June 19, 2015
Federally regulated employers should be aware that on June 16, 2015, the Employees’ Voting Rights Act came into force, amending the Canada Labour Code Part I – Industrial Relations, the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act, and the Public Service Labour Relations Act.
These amendments result in two significant changes for employers:
In order to implement these changes, the Canada Industrial Relations Board (“CIRB”) has implemented the following new procedures:
As stated, federally regulated employers are now required to respond to certification applications within 5 calendar days and the CIRB’s intention is to hold a representation vote within 12 days of the receipt of the certification application. The requirement that the employer respond with 5 calendar days means that, if the employer were to receive its copy of the certification application at 5:00 p.m. on a Friday and does not review it until Monday morning, the employer would only have 3 remaining calendar days to draft and file its response.
The employer’s response must include an alphabetical list showing the full name, job classification, home address and telephone number of all persons concerned by the application as well as other information. Where a large workforce is involved, the employer’s obligation to provide information in its response is significant. Under Ontario’s Labour Relations Act, where certification votes for non-construction workers are also mandatory, unions frequently file certification applications late in the day on Fridays to minimize the employer’s time to draft its response, and to minimize the employer’s right to communicate (in a non-threatening way) with employees with respect to the certification application.
In order to adjust to this expedited response time, we recommend the following:
Implementing human resources policies, such as the one recommended above, can make responding to certification applications much more effective in such an expedited process. We recommend that you review the CIRB’s Rules of Procedure closely, and contact counsel immediately upon receipt of an Application.
If you have any questions about this topic or any other questions relating to workplace law, please do not hesitate to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer.
For more information on new developments in Workplace Law, please refer to our website at: http://www.mathewsdinsdale.com/news-events/in-a-flash/
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