Bill C-58 received royal assent on June 20, 2024 to ban the use of replacement workers and will come into effect June 20, 2025.

This legislation was developed through extensive consultations with unions and employers and received unanimous support in Parliament. Bill C-58 is intended to improve labour relations, protect workers’ right to strike, limit interruptions to collective bargaining and provide greater stability to the economy during federal labour disputes.

According to Employment and Social Development Canada, whose work is to improve the standard of living and quality of life for all Canadians, Bill C-58 represents one of the most significant changes to federal collective bargaining rules since the 1990s.

Bill C-58 has two main components: repealing the limited prohibition on replacement workers and maintenance of activities process under Part 1 of the Canada Labour Code. The Legislative Summary of Bill C-58: An Act to Amend the Canada Labour Code and the Canada Industrial Relations Board Regulations, 2012 provides an unedited preliminary version made to the public.

  1. Repealing the limited prohibition on replacement workers
    This involves banning employers from using replacement workers to do the work of unionized employees who are on strike or locked out. This includes:
  • Employees or managers hired after the employer or union gives notice to bargain
  • Employees hired before notice to bargain
  • Contractors hired to fill in and do union work during a strike or lockout, regardless of when they are hired.

Exceptions would apply in situations where there are threats to the health and safety of the public or threats of serious damage to an employer’s property.

If there is a belief an employer is illegally using these workers, a complaint must be filed with the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB). An employer could face a fine of up to $100,000 per day if prosecuted and convicted.

  1. Maintenance of Activities Process
    This second component improves the maintenance of activities process by requiring employers and unions to come to an agreement early in the bargaining process.
    • The parties will have to reach an agreement no later than 15 days after notice to bargain is issued.
      • If parties cannot come to an agreement, the CIRB will decide what activities need to be maintained within 82 days.
      • Employers and unions will be required to have a maintenance of activities agreement in place before they can issue 72 hours’ notice for a strike or lockout.

For more information, visit the Official Website of the Government of Canada.

Want to learn more about various legislative updates? Join us at the 57th Annual Canadian Employee Benefits Conference or plan to attend the 2025 Canadian Legal and Legislative Update.  Please visit www.ifebp.org for the full event schedule.  

Eli Argueta

Favorite Foundation Product: Educational Programs/Conferences

Benefits-related Topics That Interest Him The Most: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Workplace Culture, Wellness, and Mental Health 

Personal Insight: Eli enjoys live theatre, concerts, traveling to new places, and watching reality TV. In his spare time, you can find him running outdoors, spending time with family, and playing with his dog, Lucy and cat, Karen.

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