What is Employment Law?

What is Employment Law?

Employment law is the set of rules and regulations that manage the relationship between non-unionized employers and employees. Employment laws govern rules pertaining to Wrongful Dismissals, Termination Notices, Severance Pay, workplace harassment or discrimination, Constructive Dismissals, etc. Employment law is not the same thing as labour law. Employment laws specifically protect and provide minimums for non-unionized workplaces, whereas labour laws govern those who are a part of a union. If you want to learn more about the difference between these laws read, What is the difference between a unionized and non-unionized employee? on our insights page.

Employment laws are comprised of both common laws and legislation. Employment legislation is made up of written rules that outline what employees and employers have the right to, at minimum. The different forms of legislation are:

  • The Employment Standards Act which outlines rules surrounding wages, Wrongful Dismissals, Severance Pay etc.,
  • The Human Rights Code which governs laws pertaining to discrimination and harassment,
  • The Occupational Health and Safety Act protecting employers and employees from health and safety risks and setting out the employers duties to keep the workplace reasonably safe for all employees,
  • The Pay Equity Act that ensures employees who have comparable employment duties are compensated equitably.

Employment legislation is the set of laws that remain more constant without frequent changes, whereas common law is more adaptable and shifts over time. Common law is a set of laws based on past judicial decisions (precedent) that inform lawyers and judges on how to respond to future cases.

Employment Lawyers

An employment lawyer is normally a barrister, who can take legal action in court (litigate), and a solicitor, who evaluates and drafts contracts. Employment lawyers will provide further information on employment issues, assess any relevant contracts, provide instruction on how to proceed, negotiate with opposing legal counsel, settle disputes, and much more.

The employment lawyer can work as counsel for both employers and employees. For employees, their job is most commonly to help review Employment Contracts, review their Termination Contract, creating a letter to request for more severance pay etc. Contrastingly, an employment lawyer will assist employers with drafting Employment Contracts, drafting Termination Contracts, responding to Wrongful Dismissal Claims etc.

If you are a non-unionized employer or employee who requires legal assistance pertaining to an employment matter, please contact KCY at LAW by filling in an online consultation request or contact us by phone at 905-639-0999 to book your consultation today.