Order Fixing September 1, 2019 as the Day on which Certain Provisions of that Act Come into Force: SI/2019-31

Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 153, Number 12


SI/2019-31 June 12, 2019


Order Fixing September 1, 2019 as the Day on which Certain Provisions of that Act Come into Force

P.C. 2019-602 May 31, 2019

Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Labour, pursuant to section 216 of the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2, chapter 33 of the Statutes of Canada, 2017, fixes September 1, 2019 as the day on which sections 195 to 214 of that Act come into force.


(This note is not part of the Order.)


To fix September 1, 2019, as the date on which sections 195 to 214 of the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2, as amended by sections 511 to 515 of the Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2, come into force.


To fulfill the Government’s priority to amend the Canada Labour Code (the Code) to allow workers to formally request flexible work arrangements from their employers.


The Code is an Act of Parliament that regulates industrial relations (Part I), occupational health and safety (Part II), and labour standards (Part III) in industries that fall within federal jurisdiction. The Code applies to employers and employees in federal Crown corporations (e.g. Canada Post) and federally regulated private sector industries, such as

The provinces and territories have the jurisdiction to enact labour and employment legislation for all other industries that operate within their borders, such as manufacturing firms, restaurants and retail stores, timber and construction companies.

The Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2, which received royal assent on December 14, 2017, and the Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2, which received royal assent on December 13, 2018, introduced a number of amendments to the Code. These amendments include the introduction of the new right for employees to request flexible work arrangements; three new leaves (Personal Leave, Leave for Victims of Family Violence and Leave for Traditional Aboriginal Practices); additional Bereavement Leave; and new and amended provisions to support flexible workplaces including changes to the Hours of Work, Annual Vacations and General Holidays provisions.


The amendments included in this Order aim to support employees in achieving better work-life balance and benefit employers through increased productivity, decreased absenteeism, enhanced recruitment and retention, and more flexible and effective workforce utilization. They will also support Indigenous people as they participate in traditional cultural practices, they will support women’s participation in the labour market, help foster greater gender equality in Canada’s workforce and contribute to inclusive growth.

This Order brings into force the new right to request flexible work arrangements, as well as three new leaves, that is: Personal Leave of up to 5 days with the first 3 days paid; Leave for Traditional Aboriginal Practices of up to 5 days; and Leave for Victims of Family Violence of up to 10 days with the first 5 days paid. A further change to the Code expands Bereavement Leave from 3 to 5 days with 3 days paid.

Additional changes to the Code introduce provisions supporting flexibility in the workplace, including extending the ability of employers and individual employees to modify work schedules and substitute general holidays; requiring at least 96 hours’ notice of an employee’s schedule; requiring at least 24 hours’ notice before a shift change; allowing the compensation of overtime through paid time off; providing employees a limited right to refuse overtime; allowing for the division, interruption and postponement of vacation leave; and repealing of the requirement to establish a Commission of Inquiry before making or amending regulations relating to certain hours of work provisions.


These amendments are the culmination of several rounds of consultations concerning the Code since the publication of the final report of the Federal Labour Standards Review Commission, Fairness at Work: Federal Labour Standards for the 21st Century, released in 2006. The Commission made recommendations on a number of issues, including minimum wage, compassionate care and parental leave, vacation leave, hours of work, unjust dismissal, termination of employment, and compliance, among others.

Initiatives aimed at exploring flexible work arrangements in particular were launched in November 2015. Budget 2016 expanded the Government’s commitment to exploring ways to ensure that federally regulated employees are better able to manage the demands of paid work and their personal and family responsibilities outside of work. In 2016, the federal government held public consultations on flexible work arrangements. In total, 1 262 Canadians and 62 stakeholders provided input and views through the online survey and round table discussions and 20 written submissions were received. A report providing an overview of what was heard during the consultations was published on September 22, 2016. The general public and most stakeholders expressed their support for flexible work arrangements. However, some employers did not think that it was necessary to introduce a legal right to request flexible work arrangements and expressed concern about the potential costs and operational impacts of proposed new leaves. Other stakeholders and survey respondents indicated that it should not be left up to the discretion of employers to grant employees the flexibility they need. The legislation strikes a balance in that while it does not guarantee flexibility in the workplace, it provides a formal mechanism for employees to make such requests.

Departmental contact

Judith Buchanan
Labour Standards and Wage Earner Protection Program
Workplace Directorate
Labour Program
Employment and Social Development Canada
165 De l’Hôtel-de-Ville Street
Place du Portage, Phase II, 10th Floor
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0J2
Telephone: 819‑654‑4362