Manitoba's Strategic Advantages: Labour Legislation

Statutory Holidays

There are eight general holidays throughout the year:

  • New Year's Day, January 1
  • Louis Riel Day (3rd Monday in February)
  • Good Friday
  • Victoria Day, the Monday preceding May 25
  • Canada Day, July 1
  • Labour Day, first Monday in September
  • Thanksgiving Day, second Monday in October
  • Christmas Day, December 25

Individual employers may grant additional days and collective agreements may include additional days off.

Note:  Remembrance Day (November 11) is not a General Holiday under Manitoba labour legislation, however most industries in Manitoba are not allowed to operate that day, with some specified exceptions.

Source: Manitoba Labour Programs - Employment Standards Branch


Highlights from the Employment Standards Code

Miniumum Wage

All Employees: Effective October 1, 2018 - $11.35 per hour


Overtime Wage Rate

The overtime rate in Manitoba is 1.5 times the regular or straight time rate. An employee must be paid the overtime rate for all hours worked beyond 8 hours in a day or 40 hours a week. Overtime must be authorized by employers. (Separate wage rate and standard hours of work regulations exist for the construction industry.)  More detail on overtime and hours of work can be found at the Employment Standards Branch.

Vacation Pay

Employees who have worked for the same employer for a full year are entitled to two weeks of paid vacation. When employees complete their fifth year of work with an employer, they are entitled to three weeks vacation.

Vacation pay is calculated based on the earnings in the previous year. For detailed information regarding vacation pay, please visit the Employment Standards Branch.


Manitoba’s Labour Relations Act

The Labour Relations Act is the primary statute regulating labour relations and collective bargaining in Manitoba. It covers most employees in the private and public sectors.

The Act provides a means whereby a group of employees can choose a union to represent them. They do so by satisfying the Manitoba Labour Board that the majority of them desire such representation. Once a union is certified by the Board, it can then bargain on behalf of the employees in the unit, to arrive at an agreement with the employer as to what wages the employees will be paid, and what benefits, working conditions and obligations they will have.

The Act promotes orderly collective bargaining and it contains a number of sections regulating the bargaining process, the content of collective agreements and the timing of strikes and lockouts.

The Labour Relations Act is administered by the Manitoba Labour Board, an independent administrative tribunal with specialized expertise in labour relations matters. Board membership has equal representation from labour groups and employer organizations.

The main objectives of the Manitoba Labour Board are:

  • to resolve labour matters fairly and reasonably, and in a manner that will be accepted by the labour/management communities as providing them with guidance in their future dealings
  • to respect the majority wishes of employees by issuing appropriate orders for certification or decertification
  • to assist parties in resolving disputes without the need of the formal adjudicative process
  • to process applications as expeditiously as possible
  • to provide information to parties and/or the general public regarding their dealings with the Board or about the Board's operations.

Information about Manitoba Labour Relations Act and the Manitoba Labour Board can be found here.


Manitoba's Workplace Safety and Health Act

The general object of the Workplace Safety and Health Act is to protect workers, self-employed persons and others from risks to their safety, health and welfare arising out of, or in connection with, activities in their workplaces. Manitoba’s workplace safety and health legislation is based on the philosophy that responsibility for workplace safety and health is shared in the workplace.

The Workplace Safety and Health Act requires employers to do all that is reasonable and practicable to protect the safety, health and welfare of workers. This includes providing safe equipment, a safe working environment, adequate supervision, information and training. Managers, supervisors and workers have a responsibility to help the employer carry out these responsibilities.

Because employers have the greatest degree of control over the workplace, they also have the greatest degree of legal responsibility for safety and health. However, supervisors and workers have a duty to cooperate in controlling workplace hazards and to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and others from hazards. Supervisors are responsible for the safety and health of their workers in all areas where they work. Workers are responsible for protecting their safety and health and helping supervisors ensure the safety of their work areas, tools, equipment and machinery.

Details of the Workplace Safety and Health Act and its associated Regulations can be found here.


Tax Incentives that Consider Labour Costs

Paid Work Experience Tax Credits (PWETC)

The Paid Work Experience Tax Credits (PWETC), formerly known as the Co-op Education and Apprenticeship Tax Credits, is a group of programs that provide incentives to employers who offer work experiences to qualified students, graduates, apprentices and recently certified journeypersons. There is no limit on the number of employees hired. Visit Entrepreneurship Manitoba for more details.

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