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Employment & Labour Law Update – Management Counsel Newsletter – August 2019


Employment & Labour Law Update – August 2019 – Sherrard Kuzz LLP Employment & Labour Lawyers

We hope you enjoy our August 2019 edition of Management Counsel (attached).  Our newsletter is published several times a year to highlight important issues in Canadian employment and labour law.  In this edition, we address two topics:


No Contracting Out of Employment Standards Minimum Even if Employer and Employee Voluntarily Agree.

Employers often ask if it is possible to limit potential liability to a long-service employee by entering into a “fresh” employment contract that resets the period of service to zero. A recent decision from the Court of Appeal for Ontario – Ariss vNorr Canada – confirms that while an employer can successfully limit an employee’s entitlement to common law reasonable notice, parties cannot contract out of the minimum statutory entitlements under the Employment Standards Act, 2000(“ESA”), even if they voluntarily agree to do so.  Learn more…


Employer Not Given Credit for Working Notice on Account of Excessive Overtime.

As many of you know, an employee whose employment is terminated without cause is entitled to statutory notice under applicable employment standards legislation and also to reasonable notice under the common law (in the absence of contract limiting common law notice). From time to time, parties may disagree about the amount of notice owing, but rarely about thequality of the notice period.

In a recent decision – Wood v CTS of Canada Co. – the Court of Appeal for Ontario held that working notice has both a quantitative and a qualitative component. The quantitative component is the length of the notice. The qualitative component is whether an employee has a meaningful opportunity to find new employment during the period of working notice. For example, if an employee works excessive overtime during a notice period, making it nearly impossible to look for other work, the court has said this notice is qualitatively insufficient.  Learn more…


We hope you enjoy our newsletter. If you have questions or comments, we’re happy to hear from you.



You are also invited to our next HReview Breakfast Seminar:

Navigating the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000:

Common Employer Pitfalls (and how to avoid them!)

We will explore practical and strategic approaches to address common Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) violations, and risks associated with non-compliance. Topics include:

  1. Hours of Work

o   What records must be kept?

o   How to manage and track hours in the world of “remote work”.


  1. Overtime Pay

o   Who is (and is not) entitled to overtime pay?

o   How to effectively use overtime agreements in your workplace.

  1. Employee Misclassification

o   When is an “independent contractor” actually an employee?


  1. Self- Audits and Ministry of Labour Complaints

o   Understand the Ministry of Labour’s new self-audit process.

o   Practical tips to handle a Ministry of Labour complaint.


  1. Class Action Liability for anESA Violation

o   How class action litigation can lead to significant liability under the ESA.

o   Practical tips to avoid a potential class action claim.


This free breakfast seminar will be held on Wednesday September 25, 2019; 7:30 – 9:30 a.m.  at Hazelton Manor, 99Peelar Rd, Concord ON.  Details, including how to register, can be found on the back page of our newsletter and on our website at


SHERRARD KUZZ LLP | Employment & Labour Lawyers
250 Yonge Street, Suite 3300, Toronto, Ontario, Canada  M5B 2L7

Main 416.603.0700  |  24 Hour 416.420.0738  |  Fax 416.603.6035  |