There is a range of small business employment laws that can affect your business. 

Three Canadian employment laws in particular are vital to understand as a small business owner, and you should know why they are key to protecting your small business.

3 small business employment laws you cannot afford to overlook 

1. Family and Medical Leave  

It is important to know the rights of your employees when it comes to leave. One of the acts you will be dealing with most often when it comes to a leave of absence is the Family and Medical Leave Act. 

This act covers several situations Including most notably, maternity and parental leave. In BC, an employee is able to take up to 18 consecutive weeks of leave. There are also leaves for employees who have experienced a pregnancy loss, parents looking to bond with their newly adopted or born children, and more. If your employee needs compassionate leave or time off due to a child going missing, a child passing away, or a family member getting sick, this would also fall into the Family and Medical Leave Act. 

Why do you need to know about this act? 

If you refuse an employee a leave of absence they are entitled to, they may be able to sue you, especially if they quit or are fired over it. 

2. Canadian Human Rights Act 

This is one of the most important small business employment laws as it protects employees from discrimination based on age, gender, race, ethnicity, or a number of other protected grounds. The Canadian Human Rights Act works in tandem with the Employment Equity Act, which improves employment opportunities for people with disabilities, Aboriginal people, visible minorities and women. 

Why do you need to know about this act?

If you are found to discriminate based on a protected category, you can be sued – and may face significant legal repercussions. 

3. Employment Standards Act 

This act may seem basic, but it lays out the employees’ rights. That makes it a must-know piece of for any small business owner. So what is covered in the Employment Standards Act? 

Essentially, if you have questions about the basic requirements you have to meet as an employer, you should probably consult this act. Federally regulated employees, however, are not covered under this act. 

Why do I need to know about this act?

This act governs much of your relationship with employees. If you want to avoid complaints and lawsuits, you need to know-and follow-this act. 

Remember that there has been a significant change to small business employment – the rising BC minimum wage. For help navigating this change or any other aspects of small business employment law, book an appointment with Benchmark Law today.