Important Laws: Canada

Canadian Laws

This is a non-exhaustive list of Canadian laws that pertain to employment. Click on the title of the law to access the full text.

Canada Labour Code (R.S.C., 1985, c. L-2)

This federal law governs employment rights and responsibilities in federally regulated businesses and industries. The law deals with three main classes of subject matter:

  • Part I: Industrial Relations;

  • Part II: Occupational Health and Safety; and

  • Part III: Standard Hours, Wages, Vacations and Holidays.

Canada Labour Standards Regulations (C.R.C., c. 986)

This federal law sets forth the minimum standards that employers in federally regulated businesses must provide to their employees. Employers may offer better working conditions, but they can never offer less. Among other things, this law deals with minimum wage, payment of wages, hours of work, leaves, vacation, and holidays


Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Part I of the Constitution Act, 1982)

​This charter enumerates Canadians’ fundamental rights and freedoms vis-a-vis the federal and provincial governments. This charter includes, among other things, non-discrimination rights and language rights.

Canadian Human Rights Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. H-6)

This federal law applies to individuals working for or receiving benefits from the federal government, individuals working for federally regulated businesses, and First Nations governments. This law protects individuals from discrimination or harassment based on any of the following grounds: race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, family status, genetic characteristics, disability or conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been granted or in respect of which a record suspension has been ordered. 

Official Languages Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 31, 4th Supp.)

This federal law outlines provisions to ensure respect for English and French as the official languages of Canada, and to ensure equality of status and equal rights and privileges as to their use in all federal institutions.