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  • HR Heartbeat: Mental Health Awareness Week, more paid sick days, and….

HR Heartbeat: Mental Health Awareness Week, more paid sick days, and….

Read on to learn why your business may need to file this report or face a hefty fine, plus see how you can help your employees better their mental health as we mark Mental Health Awareness Week.

First published on Friday, Apr 26, 2024

Last updated on Friday, Apr 26, 2024

3 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.

More paid sick leave days are on the horizon

Non-unionized employees with three months of continuous employment in Prince Edward Island are currently entitled to only three days of unpaid leave. However, starting October 1, 2024, new amendments to the Employment Standards Act (ESA) related to paid sick leave will come into effect.

These amendments will establish a tiered system for paid sick leave entitlements, which will supplement the existing unpaid leave entitlements.

Non-unionized employees with 12 months of continuous employment will be entitled to one day of paid sick leave. After they've completed 24 months of continuous employment, they get an additional day of paid sick leave (2 days ).

The number of paid sick leave days increases as employees' tenures lengthen, so any non-unionized employees with 36 months of continuous employment get three days of paid sick leave.

Eligible employees can only use their unpaid sick leave after they've used their paid sick leave.

If you're wondering how pay is to be calculated for paid sick leave, it'll be based on the employee's regular rate of wages for the hours they would have worked if they hadn't taken any leave. For salaried employees, it must be calculated at their regular rate of pay for a day of work.

Keeping track of these employment law changes can seem overwhelming, but with support from employment relations advisors, it doesn't have to be.

Contact our team of highly trained Canadian HR and employment relations experts for BrightAdvice and get accurate answers to your pressing questions and concerns.

The deadline to report forced labour is fast approaching

Businesses that produce, sell, distribute, or import goods into Canada (or elsewhere) or are a controlling entity that engages in any of the above business activities as a reporting entity in Canada should be aware of the deadlines for two reporting obligations—May 31, 2024.

If you're one such business, you must complete a report for the Minister of Public and Emergency Preparedness and submit answers to an online questionnaire regarding the steps your business has taken in the last financial year to prevent and reduce the risk of forced labour or child labour being used at any stage of your production of goods in Canada or elsewhere.

Your report must also be approved by your business's governing body, including directors, officers, agents, or other business mandataries. You must also submit evidence of their approval.

Failure to file your report on time or filing a report with false or misleading information could lead to fines of up to $250,000.

You can learn more about your reporting obligations here.

It's almost Mental Health Awareness Week

This year, Mental Health Awareness Week will take place from May 6 to 12. Its theme is the healing power of compassion. Celebrated each year since 1951, this national event is coordinated by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA).

Employers are encouraged to raise awareness of, and reduce the stigma around, mental illness, especially in the workplace. As mental illness is the leading cause of disability in Canada, allowing your employees to share personal mental health experiences can help normalize these conversations and contribute to better employee wellbeing.

By actively participating in Mental Health Awareness Week , you show your employees you're invested in their wellbeing and creating a psychologically safe workplace culture.

Some ways you can do this are by spotlighting your mental health benefits, such as wellness initiatives or an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). You can also invite guest speakers or mental health experts to your workplace to provide mental health education and training to managers and staff.

Our learning management system, BrightLearn, is packed with helpful e-learning courses on topics like mental health awareness, to help equip your staff with the skills they need to manage and better their mental health this Mental Health Awareness Week and beyond.

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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