Employment Law in Canada, 2nd ed

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Employer-Employee Relationship, Wrongful Dismissal, Labour Standards Code, Employment Benefits, Human Rights Codes, Employee Rights, Employer Obligations


For the purposes of this book, "employment law'' is taken to refer to the law relating to the individual employer-employee relationship. It includes the law traditionally characterized under the head "'master and servant"', which was largely concerned with wrongful dismissal, but extends well beyond that. In each Canadian province and in the federal jurisdiction, there is a labour standards code or other body of legislation which establishes a floor of irreducible rights with respect to a plethora of employment benefits including, depending on the jurisdiction, minimum wages, hours of work, overtime, mode and interval of wage payments, wage statements, rest periods, holidays and vacations, time off to vote, maternity and parental leave, equal pay for men and women rights to notice and severance payments in termination of employment situations, and protection against unjust dismissal. As well, human rights codes prohibit discrimination on specified grounds in many contexts, but practically, none is more important than employment. In addition, the rights and obligations of employees and employers are commonly determined by special legislation relating to pension benefits, labour relations, health and safety, non-payment of wages, worker's compensation and unemployment insurance. Many other statutes, statutes of frauds, corporations legislation and debt collection legislation for example, also bear on the employment relationship, and all of them can, quite properly, be considered within the ambit of employment law. Further, each Canadian jurisdiction has legislation governing various aspects of public employment, in the civil service and public-school teaching for example, which is part of employment law.


Cited by the Supreme Court of Canada in the following cases:

Pointe-Claire (City of) v Quebec (Labour Court), [1997] 1 SCR 1015.

Wallace v United Grain Growers Ltd, [1997] 3 SCR 701.

Flieger v New Brunswick, [1993] 2 SCR 651.

Wilson v Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd, 2016 SCC 29.