Round-Up of Employment Legislation Changes for 2022

Over the course of the last two years, we have seen important developments in employment legislation across Canada. Many of these changes were precipitated by the widespread impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on employers and employees alike. As we head into 2022, and the third year of the pandemic, we continue to see amendments to employment legislation. We predict this trend will continue.

In this blog post we outline some of the key legislative changes for 2022 that have currently been announced. However, we encourage both employers and employees to stay tuned for further amendments that may be introduced as we progress through 2022.

Please note we only discuss amendments to employment standards legislation in this blog post. For further information on changes to other legislation that may impact the workplace, please contact a member of the Lee Workplace Law team.

1. Canada - Federal

Effective December 29, 2021, all federal employers must pay a minimum wage of $15.00/hour. However, if the employer operates in a province where the provincial minimum wage is greater than $15.00/ hour, the employer must pay the greater, provincial minimum wage.

For more information on the new federal minimum wage obligation, please check out our previous blog post, Changes Ahead for Federal Employers - Pay Equity and Minimum Wage Obligations.

2. British Columbia

Effective January 1, 2022, employees governed by British Columbia's Employment Standards Act are entitled to 5 paid sick days per year. This is in addition to their entitlement to 3 unpaid sick days per year.

This entitlement extends to full-time, part-time and casual employees, and begins once an employee has completed 90 days of work with their employer. Employees are not required to give advanced notice to their employers to use their sick leave but should notify the employer as soon as possible. The employer is entitled to ask for reasonably sufficient proof that the employee is entitled to the sick leave, for example, a doctor's note or receipt from a drugstore.

3. Saskatchewan

A number of changes to The Saskatchewan Employment Act came into effect on January 1, 2022. These include:

  • A broader definition of "workplace harassment", and the provisions now apply to independent contractors, secondary and post-secondary students, and volunteers.
  • New provisions provide employers with protection against liability for complying with COVID-19 vaccination requirements. To comply with vaccination requirements, employees have the choice of being fully vaccinated or providing proof of a negative COVID-19 test every 7 days.
  • Supervisory employees are no longer presumptively excluded from being in a bargaining unit with employees they supervise for the purpose of collective bargaining, among other changes.

4. Ontario

Effective January 1, 2022, the minimum wage rates in Ontario increased. The general minimum wage rate increased to $15.00/hour. The minimum wage rates for students under 18, homeworkers, hunting and fishing guides and liquor servers also increased.

Notably, significant amendments were made to Ontario's Employment Standards Act as a result of the Working for Workers Act, 2021 coming into effect on December 2, 2021. Among other changes, employers of more than 25 employees must prepare a written policy about the right to disconnect from work by June 2, 2022 and circulate it with their employers in the 30 days that follow. For more information on these changes, please review our blog post, Working for Workers Act, 2021 - Changes to Ontario's Employment Laws.

5. New Brunswick

Two minimum wage increases are scheduled to occur in New Brunswick in 2022. In April 2022, the minimum wage rate is set to increase to $12.75/hour. The minimum wage is set to increase by another $1 in October 2022, for a new minimum wage of $13.75/hour.

6. Prince Edward Island (PEI)

PEI's minimum wage is also scheduled to increase in April 2022, for a new minimum wage of $13.70/hour.

Effective June 1, 2022, employers will also have new obligations to comply with when publicly posting job advertisements. Job advertisements will now have to include an expected pay or pay range, among other requirements.

The chart below outlines the key legislative changes that have currently been announced for 2022.


The new year brought with it a number of changes to employment laws. Employers and employees alike would do well to familiarize themselves with any new rights and obligations they may have as we move forward into 2022.

Lee Workplace Law would be happy to assist with any questions you may have about your workplace.