Update on Proposed Changes to the BC Labour Relations Code

There are a few proposed changes to the BC Labour Relations Code which may be in effect as early as the end of this month.

A link to the changes is provided for below.

A quick summary of the key changes are:

  • Picketing – replaces the definition with language that expressly excludes leafletting.  This likely just puts in writing what case law has already determined
  • Unfair labour practice – removes exception for right of employer to express its views from prohibited interference with formation or administration of trade union
  • Communication – removes right of employer to express views, and replaces with right to communicate statement of fact or opinion reasonably held
  • Unfair labour practice remedy – allows for remedial certification where considered just and equitable
  • Certification vote – to be held within 5 days of application, instead of 10
  • New union – may seek end to collective agreement if 2 years or more left on term
  • Decertification – application cannot be brought until 12 months from certification
  • Contract for services successorship – retroactive to May 1 makes any future contractor bound by certification and collective agreement
  • Freeze – extends statutory freeze prohibiting change to terms of employment to 12 months after certification from 4 months
  • Penalty – increases potential penalties against individuals or companies to $5000 or $50000 respectively

Bill 30 – Labour Relations Code Amendment Act, 2019 had its First Reading on April 30.  Expandable ‘Explanatory notes’ are provided within this First Reading version of the bill.

News release:

Ministry of Labour news release, “Restoring fairness and stability to British Columbia’s worksites” (April 30, 2019):

“Greater protections for workers, job security, labour rights and stability for employers are the focus of amendments to the Labour Relations Code.”

Backgrounder:

A Backgrounder on “Labour Relations Code amendments” is provided at the end of the news release.

Please feel free to contact our Labour + Employment Practice Group if you have any questions about the proposed changes, or how they may affect your business.