Employer Notice for Schedule Changes in BC

There are many regulations that control employment concerns within Canada and further within the province of BC. Where a collective agreement or union is in place, those agreements must be followed, but a union may not sign away the rights provided by the government. Schedule changes in BC or any other Canadian province must be notified appropriately, and time should be given to the employee to adjust to the change.

According to the Canada Labour Code, there must be an advance notice on any change to a schedule or shift. If any change is being made to a work schedule, it is required to provide 96 hours’ notice, and this notice must be in writing.

To change a shift, there must be 24 hours of written notice in advance of the shift. To comply with these rules, it is necessary to note not only the times but also that it must be in writing.

There are many written communication methods an employer can use to notify employees of schedule changes, including email, work emails or messaging systems that are accessed daily or have notifications, and many will also accept text messages as written notifications.

Notification may not be provided by voicemail or phone call. Written communication is preferable because this method of communication provides a paper trail that allows for decreased confusion and miscommunications.

               Employee responsibilities include:

  • Checking for messages and changes.
  • Knowing their shifts for the week and arriving on time for each shift.
  • Communicating any shift or schedule changes they require in advance as well.

As other rules in any collective agreements or employment standards remain the same, it is still necessary to ensure that other regulations are being followed.

Employees must have 32 hours in a row free from work each week, and if there is any need for them to step in during that time, they must be compensated with overtime or other additional pay.

There are also to be 8 hours between each shift to allow for proper rest. Any shift changes must adhere to these rules as well.

There are many rules and regulations for ensuring that hours and rest are fair to the employee and the employer. To ensure that employees are aware of changes to their schedule or a shift, there must be an appropriate written notice before the change occurs.

For a one-time shift change to be correctly notified, there is a 24-hour notice required. This notice must be in writing, so a phone call or voice mail is not acceptable. When a change is required, it is necessary to ensure 96 hours of written notice.

These changes must also not affect the 8 hours needed for rest between shifts, nor can they affect the regular hours worked. In these instances, overtime or additional pay is required. In turn, an employee should provide sufficient notice of any change they need.

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