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Slaw: Welcoming Reservists back home – and back to work

Image: www.montrealgazette.com

Image: www.montrealgazette.com

Now and in the coming months, members of the Canadian Forces will be returning from military service in Afghanistan in significant numbers. Many of them, Reservists, will be returning to civilian work. We all owe these soldiers a debt of gratitude for their service. Employers specifically owe them a number of legal obligations, under Employment/Labour Standards legislation in various jurisdictions.

Most reservists are people who have civilian jobs but serve in the military on a part-time basis in the Army Reserve, Naval Reserve, Air Reserve, Health Services Reserve, Special Operations Reserve or Reserve Legal Services. All military service in Canada, both Regular and Reserve, is voluntary. Members of the Reserve Force may volunteer to go on deployment in either Canada or abroad. They may only be called up for non-voluntary service in times of national emergency, as defined in the National Defence Act and in the emergency legislation of the Government of Canada. An emergency is defined by the National Defence Act as “an insurrection, riot, invasion, armed conflict or war, real or apprehended.”

The Federal Government, federally regulated employers, companies and organizations in Yukon Territory, and all ten provincial governments must give their reservist employees’ unpaid time off to attend military deployment on missions either in Canada or internationally and for military training. Other territories are currently considering legislation to introduce military leave under Employment/Labour Standards legislation.

For more, read my latest Slaw blog post.

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Yosie Saint-Cyr

Managing Editor at First Reference Inc.
Yosie Saint-Cyr, LL.B., is a trained lawyer called to the Quebec bar in 1988 and is still a member in good standing. She practiced business, employment and labour law until 1999. For over 15 years, Yosie has been the Managing Editor of the following publications, Human Resources Advisor, Human Resources PolicyPro, HRinfodesk and Accessibility Standards PolicyPro from First Reference. Yosie is one of Canada’s best known and most respected HR authors, with an extensive background in employment and labour across the country. Read more
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