Labour Relations in Canada

Labour Relations in Canada refers to a number of labour laws and regulations that fall under either federal, provincial, or territorial jurisdiction. It refers most often to those under federal jurisdiction.

Federal Labour Law

Under federal jurisdiction there is the Canada Labour Code which oversees the development of good industrial relations that will be in the best interests of Canada.

This labour code governs the relationship between labour and management with the aim of developing good relations and constructive bargaining practices in those industries that are under federal jurisdiction.

Each of the provinces have their own labour codes or acts covering those industries and companies, within their borders, that are not federally regulated under the Canada Labour Code.

The Canada Labour Code

The Code is divided into three parts:

  • Part 1: Deals with industrial relations in federal jurisdictions and regulates the relationship between labour and management and covers collective bargaining and the constructive settlement of labour disputes.
  • Part 2: Covers Occupational Health and Safety in federal jurisdictions and is aimed at preventing accidents and injury to health which may occur, or be linked, during the course of employment.
  • Part 3: Handles standard hours of work, wages, leave, vacations and holidays in federal jurisdictions.

Read more on the Code at Canada Labour Code

The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS)

Labour relations in Canada also makes provisions for the prevention and resolution of labour disputes. In federal jurisdictions, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service handles conciliation, preventive mediation and arbitration matters. These services, using neutral third parties to assist in conciliation and mediation, can trace their roots back to the Conciliation Act of 1900.

FMCS is tasked with dispute resolution by assisting Canada Labour Code regulated employees, or their unions, and employers resolve their dispute, by providing conciliation and mediation officers to help the disputing parties reach an agreement.

Another service provided by the FMCS is that of dispute prevention. This service is provided via collective bargaining training workshops, and conflict resolutions workshops, and providing information on grievance mediation.

The FMCS also assists in arbitration by providing arbitrators to handle disputes such as wages disputes, grievances, and unjust dismissals.

Note: Labour Relations in Canada refers mainly to jurisdictions that are governed by the Canada Labour Code. For provincial and territorial labour relations see Canadian Labour Laws