Area of Law: Employment Law
Answer Number: 597
Federal employeesRegion: Ontario Answer Number: 597
If your employer is regulated by federal law, you are considered an employee under federal authority, and you are covered by a different set of rules than most other employees in Ontario. Employees under federal authority include employees of the federal government, banks, airlines, railways, telecommunications, Aboriginal bands, interprovincial transportation, the post office, and radio and television stations. The Canada Labour Code sets out the main rules that apply to your employment, including hours of work, vacation entitlement, paid holiday, maternity and parental leave, and minimum wage.
Hours of work
Generally, an employee under federal authority is not supposed to work more than eight hours a day and 40 hours a week. There are certain exemptions allowing up to 48 hours per week and situations where an employer can apply for a permit to have a longer work week. If the employee works more than 40 hours a week, the employer generally must pay time and a half for every hour over 40 hours worked.
An employee under federal authority has the right to take two weeks’ vacation after the first year of working, or to get an amount equal to 4% of their yearly salary as vacation pay if they do not take a vacation. After the employee has worked for six years in a row, the employee has the right to three weeks’ vacation or 6% vacation pay.
Paid public holidays
Employees under federal authority are entitled to take between 9 and 11 paid public holidays, depending on the province. They are: 1) New Year’s Day, 2) Family Day 3) Good Friday, 4) Easter Monday, 5) Victoria Day, 6) Canada Day, 7) Labour Day, 8) Thanksgiving Day, 9) Remembrance Day, 10) Christmas Day, and 11) Boxing Day. If an employee has to work on a public holiday, they are entitled to two and a half times their regular wage for the day.
Maternity and parental leave
Employees under federal authority can take maternity and parental leave after six months of employment. A natural mother has the right to 17 weeks of maternity leave. Natural or adoptive parents are eligible for up to 37 weeks of parental leave. If both parents work for federally regulated employers, their combined parental leave cannot be more than 37 weeks. Parents can take their parental leave at the same time, or one after the other.
A natural mother can take both maternity and parental leave, but the total duration of maternity and parental leaves combined cannot exceed 52 weeks.
In Ontario, all employees including those under federal authority must be paid at least minimum wage, unless they are being trained or they are in a licensed apprentice program.
If you are unsure about your rights as an employee under federal authority, or for more information, view the Government of Canada’s labour standards for federal workers.
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