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  • HR Heartbeat: 2024 Federal Budget Bill, minimum wage goes up in B.C., and...

HR Heartbeat: 2024 Federal Budget Bill, minimum wage goes up in B.C., and...

In this week’s edition, we take a closer look at changes coming to federally regulated sectors. And discover what employers must do to be in line with B.C.’s new minimum wage.

First published on Tuesday, Jun 11, 2024

Last updated on Sunday, Jun 09, 2024

5 min read

Have you heard the latest news?

Welcome to HR Heartbeat, where we give you a rundown of the week's top employment law stories. Stay on the pulse of current trends impacting your business, plus get up-to-the-minute commentary on all things HR and legal.

Upcoming changes for federally regulated employers

A few changes are coming to federally regulated sectors when the 2024 Federal Budget Bill is approved. If you’re an employer in industries like banking, telecom or transportation, here are a few changes you can expect to see.

1.** Right to Disconnect:** The new Budget Bill is looking out for employees by proposing a "right to disconnect." This means federally regulated employees have the right to unplug from work-related communications during their off-hours without consequences. Employers in the impacted sectors will need to implement and update their employees on what this means via a right-to-disconnect policy to make sure everyone’s on the same page.

  1. Worker Misclassification (Gig Workers): The Budget is cracking down on worker misclassification with a three-part plan: more inspections, data-sharing between ESDC and CRA, and making it easier to presume anyone getting paid is an employee unless proven otherwise.

  2. Amendment to Employment Equity Act: Changes are also coming to the Employment Equity Act, adding Black Workers and 2SLGBTQI+ workers as separate designated equity groups. This means employers will likely need to collect and report new data as well as develop new strategies for recruitment and retention that meet these updated requirements.

  3. ** Eliminating Forced Labour:** New laws are on the way to eliminate forced labour from Canadian supply chains and reinforce the ban on importing goods made with forced labour.

This many updates would have anyone’s head in a spin, especially if you have limited employment law knowledge. That’s why it’s best to lean on BrightAdvice for expert guidance on staying compliant with these new regulations.

Celebrating Pride Month in the workplace

Throughout the month of June, Canadians celebrate Pride Month—a time to recognize and celebrate 2SLGBTQI+ communities around the world.

But what does Pride Month look like in the workplace? It’s the perfect time to revisit your workplace policies to ensure you’re free from discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

It’s vital to address any inclusivity gaps in your business to keep your employees happy and attract new talent. Here are a few ways you can celebrate Pride Month this June and beyond:

Embrace inclusivity: Host workshops or lunch-and-learns to educate your team about inclusivity and the importance of supporting 2SLGBTQI+ colleagues. Create a safe space for open discussions where employees can share their experiences and ideas. Our learning management system BrightLearn, has a range of courses to help asses if your team needs diversity retraining.

Show your support: Decorate your office with Pride flags and colors and encourage employees to participate in local Pride events. Consider organizing company-sponsored activities like a Pride parade outing or a volunteer day with local 2SLGBTQI+ organizations.

Review benefits and policies: Make sure your employee benefits and policies are inclusive. This includes health benefits that cover 2SLGBTQI+ needs, inclusive language in your documents, and a clear stance against discrimination. Our library of templates, checklists and policies, BrightBase has expertly written diversity and inclusion policies.

For more insights on the importance of marking Pride Month in the workplace ask Bright BrAInbox “Why should I celebrate Pride Month?”

B.C. minimum wage increase

Effective June 1, 2024, British Columbia’s minimum wage went up to $17.40 from $16.75 per hour. That’s a 3.9% bump, matching the average inflation rate for 2023.

  • Liquor servers will get the regular minimum wage plus tips.
  • Minimum wages for residential caretakers, live-in home-support workers, and camp leaders also increased by 3.9%.
  • Live-in camp leaders and home support workers will see their daily rates rise to $137.70 and $128.47, respectively.
  • Resident caretakers’ monthly wages will jump to $1,032.6 plus $52.22 per suite for buildings with 9-60 suites and $3,517.39 for buildings with 61 or more suites.

Failure to pay your staff their correct wages can land you in legal hot water, so if your business operates in this province, or if you have staff working in B.C., you’ll need to update your payroll policies and practices to ensure you’re not underpaying your staff.

Need help navigating these changes? Our experts can help you update your payroll systems, employee handbooks, and make sure you’re acting in line with the new wage regulations. By staying ahead of these changes, you can maintain a happy workforce, avoid legal complications and keep your business running smoothly.

That's it for today! Come back next time for more HR news so you stay ahead of major employment law changes.

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