Labour Relations Code
The Labour Relations Board
The BC Labour Relations Board is an independent administrative tribunal with the authority to administer the provisions of the Labour Relations Code. The board is responsible for deciding all matters covered by the code.
Sale of a Business and Transfer of Work
An employer cannot extinguish the employees’ collective bargaining rights by simply selling the business. Certain provisions of the British Columbia Labour Relations Code are specifically designed to preserve the collective bargaining rights of employees and unions when businesses change hands.
Notice to Bargain
In the circumstances of a new certification, where no collective agreement exists, collective bargaining will commence when either the union or the employer provides written notice to the other party requiring it to begin collective bargaining.
Labour Relations Code Made Simple
Many BC tourism operations have employees represented by trade unions, and others have faced organizing drives. For these employers, the BC Labour Relations Code is a critical piece of legislation. Even those employers with no union experience should know the law regarding the unionization of workplaces.
First Collective Agreement
It is not uncommon for parties involved in the negotiation of their first collective agreement to experience more difficulties than unions and employers with a longer history of bargaining.
Drug & Alcohol Dependency and the Employer’s Duty to Accommodate
Employees concerned with their alcohol and drug use or showing signs of dependency can significantly impact the workplace and negatively impact attendance, performance, behaviour and safety. Furthermore, given that British Columbia’s human rights legislation includes drug and alcohol dependencies within the meaning of disability under the Human Rights Code, employers have a legal obligation to accommodate these disabilities within their organization.
Certification and Decertification Process
The certification process formalizes the collective bargaining relationship. Once a union is certified for a group of employees, the union becomes their exclusive bargaining agent. Unless the bargaining unit is later decertified, the employer is required to bargain in good faith to reach a collective agreement.
With a certification, a union gains the right to compel the employer to engage in collective bargaining with the union on behalf of the employees it represents. The goal of collective bargaining is a collective agreement, which is a binding contract between the union and employer concerning the terms and conditions of employment for employees in the bargaining unit.
Bargaining in Good Faith
Once a notice to commence bargaining has been served, the union and the employer must begin bargaining in good faith within 10 days.