L&E Bulletin: SCC Decision on Statutory Freeze Provisions in Labour Legislation

27.6.14

Today, the Supreme Court of Canada provided guidance on the proper interpretation and application of damages for breaches of statutory freeze provisions in labour legislation. These provisions prevent employers from changing terms and conditions of employment after a certification application is made by a union in respect of its employees or during the bargaining process. This case is significant to employers—the Court held that any change to the terms or conditions of employment during a statutory freeze can only be made if the change is consistent with the employer’s past management practices or it is a change a reasonable employer would have made in the same circumstances. The change cannot be made because of the arrival of the union.