The federal Cannabis Act will take effect in October – what should employers do now to get ready?
cannabis act into force in October

Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, passed third reading in the Senate and received royal assent on June 21, 2018, although it is still not legal to sell, purchase, possess, use or consume recreational marijuana just yet.

The new Act will come into effect on October 17, 2018, providing provinces, territories and municipalities the time to finalize the set-up of their retail stores and to come in line with the new regulations.

As we mentioned in last month’s First Reference Update, the legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada creates an issue as to whether, how and to what extent marijuana possession and use can be tolerated in the workplace or at work-related events. Employers should start considering the health and safety challenges they will face later this year.

A new topic in The Human Resources Advisor™ (HRA)—Recreational Marijuana in the Workplace—outlines the law on both the federal and provincial level, some key elements to consider and action items to help manage the use of recreational marijuana in the workplace and respond to situations of impairment.

HRA subscribers can read more on this topic in the section covering Health and Safety. If you’re not a subscriber, you can take a free 30-day trial of HRA to view this essential commentary.


Get a free copy of our popular statutory holidays compliance guide
free stat holidays guide for Canadian workplaces

From now until July 9, you can download a copy of Statutory holiday rules across Canada (a $49.95 value) for free!

Written by Yosie Saint-Cyr, LL.B., Managing Editor at First Reference, this popular statutory holiday guide:

  • Covers every jurisdiction in Canada
  • Includes the latest legal requirements from Ontario Bill 148 and Alberta Bill 17
  • Comes with a sample statutory holidays policy to help ensure compliance

Visit our website to learn more and download your free copy of the e-book.


New and updated leaves are now in effect
for British Columbia
Bill 6 British Columbia Employment Standards Amendment Act

On May 17, 2018, the provincial government gave the Employment Standards Amendment Act, 2018 (Bill 6) royal assent, providing new, extended and more flexible statutory leaves for workers in British Columbia. The following leaves have been extended for employees:

  • Pregnancy Leave – The period in which employees may begin pregnancy leave is extended from 11 weeks before the estimated date of birth to 13 weeks. Employees who request a pregnancy leave after giving birth to take up to 17 consecutive weeks of leave. Currently, these employees may only take up to six weeks off.
  • Parental Leave – The period of parental leave is extended from 37 weeks to 62 weeks in a 78 week period; The length of parental leave for birth mothers increases from 35 weeks to 61 weeks, for a maximum of 78 weeks when combined with the Act’s 17-week pregnancy leave.
  • Compassionate Care Leave – The length of compassionate care leave increases from eight weeks to 27 weeks. The period within which employees could take the leave would increase from 26 weeks to 52 weeks.

Additionally, Bill 6 introduces two new leaves to further protect employees:

  • The first, Leave for Disappearance of a Child, provides up to 52 weeks of unpaid leave for a parent whose child under 19 years of age disappeared as a result of a probable crime.
  • The second is Leave for Death of a Child, which allows a parent to take up to 104 weeks of unpaid leave, if their child under 19 years of age died under any circumstances. British Columbia is only the second province in Canada to provide this leave to employees.

These changes came into force May 17, 2018, so—if they haven’t done so already—employers need to review and update their current HR policies and practices as soon as possible to comply with these new leave provisions.

For more information on these leaves and what’s required of BC employers, visit the Statutory Holiday and Leaves section of The Human Resources Advisor online. If you’re not a subscriber, click here to request a free trial.

Ensure your policies covering employee leaves are up to date

Many provinces are making changes to employment standards—leaves of absences in particular—keep on top of the latest developments for your jurisdiction with a free trial of Human Resources PolicyPro®.


Are you making the best use of your cash flow?

Cash is the lifeblood of a business and our free checklist of cash management strategies will help you discover opportunities to enhance your policies to optimize your cash flow with:

  • Vendors, suppliers and accounts payable
  • Customers
  • Investments and bank deposits
  • Borrowing and financing
  • Forecasting and monitoring processes
  • Equipment and fixed assets

Strong cash flow policies and procedures will provide the framework to monitor accounts payable and receivable, keep cash for day-to-day and emergency needs, invest excess funds and take prompt action to deal with any shortfalls.

But policies need review, too, so you can make sure your various cash management processes are optimized to meet your current cash flow needs.

Download Cash Management Strategies to learn more.



About the First Reference Update

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