Labour & Regulatory Services

Manitoba Labour Board Notice to the Community

UPDATED RESPONSE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC


PREVIOUS UPDATES



NOVEMBER 5, 2020

Manitoba Labour Board Updated Response to the COVID 19 Pandemic

Throughout the pandemic, the Board has continued to operate, process applications, and conduct votes, hearings, mediations, and case conferences.  The Board has modified its procedures to allow for virtual proceedings and electronic voting where appropriate and necessary.

As with previously announced plans, the Board’s current approach has been developed carefully, with the input of the labour relations community, to ensure our workplace and our public spaces are as safe as possible, and that matters can continue to be finalized in a fair and efficient manner.

The revised practices and procedures discussed in this notice will remain in effect until March 1, 2021, or such other date as the Board determines is appropriate.

All previously announced measures as set out in the Board’s update issued on June 22, 2020 shall remain in effect. 

During the current phase of the Board’s response to the pandemic, the following additional changes shall be implemented effective immediately:

  • Videoconferencing using the Microsoft Teams platform is the presumptive method for hearings and case management conferences during the COVID-19 pandemic, unless specific circumstances exist in a particular case which require the Board to consider other options;
  • The Board has developed revised Guidelines for Videoconference Hearings which shall be effective as of this date;
  • In all cases which require hearings, the Board shall conduct a case management conference.  In circumstances where parties have specific concerns regarding proceeding with the hearing via videoconference, they may identify those issues at the case management conference.  The Board will determine whether alternate manners of proceeding can be accommodated having regard to applicable public health orders, the principles of procedural fairness, and other relevant considerations; and
  • In order to facilitate orderly and expeditious hearings, the use of Agreed Statements of Fact, Agreed Books of Documents or Exhibits, comprehensive pre-hearing disclosure, and mediation to resolve or narrow matters in dispute, is strongly encouraged and shall be facilitated by the Board.


JUNE 22, 2020

Effective June 21, 2020, in accordance with the Province of Manitoba’s Restoring Services, Phases 2 and 3, the Board is resuming some of its in-person activities, as outlined below. Throughout the pandemic, the Board has continued to operate, process applications, and conduct votes, hearings, mediations, case conferences, with modifications to allow for virtual proceedings, mail-in ballots, and with all our staff working from home. The current plan has been developed carefully, with the input of the labour relations community, to ensure our workplace and our public spaces are as safe as possible. The revised practices and procedures discussed in this notice will remain in effect until August 31, 2020 or such other date as the Board determines is appropriate.

Until further notice, the Board’s offices remain closed to the public for inquiries. Individuals may submit their questions by contacting us by telephone at (204) 945-2089 or in writing to MLBRegistrar@gov.mb.ca. The mailbox will be monitored by staff daily and all inquiries will be responded to as soon as reasonably practicable.

The Board will continue to receive applications, complaints, interventions, referrals, requests, appeals or other submissions through electronic filing only, including applications for certification and decertification. The Board continues to temporarily waive the requirement for a signed statutory declaration with those filings. In lieu of a statutory declaration, parties may file an unsworn statement containing the same information and documents that would otherwise have been required in a sworn statutory declaration. Parties may be required to file a properly executed statutory declaration at a future date, as directed by the Board.

When filing documentation with the Board, please place the appropriate word "Application" or "Submission" in the subject line of the e-mail, along with any relevant case numbers (if known for submissions) so it can easily be identified. Please note that, in the circumstances, processing will likely be delayed.

Mediations, planning meetings and case conferences will proceed as scheduled by way of teleconference or videoconference. The Board will consider requests from parties for in-person mediation, planning meetings and case management conferences, which will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Representation votes will be conducted using mail-in ballots or, where appropriate and feasible, using electronic/phone voting.

The Board shall continue to schedule and conduct case management conferences with parties for any matter that it has determined may require a hearing, to determine the most appropriate manner to finalize those matters. These case management conferences shall be held by videoconference or teleconference, as directed by the Board.

In-person hearings that are scheduled to proceed at the Board’s offices will be subject to the Guidelines for In-Person Hearings.

The Board continues to actively monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and continues to work on contingency planning during this rapidly evolving situation.


APRIL 16, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect Manitoba communities. The board’s priority remains the health, safety, and well-being of our staff and individuals who attend our offices. The board also remains committed to maintaining its operations and serving the public to the greatest extent possible, in a safe and efficient manner.

On March 16, 2020, the board introduced temporary measures to respond to this public health crisis. The new measures in this notice were developed in consultation with representatives of employers and employees in the province, and in consideration of current public health information and the state of emergency announced by the Province of Manitoba. The revised practices and procedures discussed in this notice will remain in effect to June 19, 2020 or such other date as the Board determines is appropriate.

To mitigate the effects of COVID-19, the board has instituted the following temporary measures and procedural accommodations:

  • The board will continue to receive applications, complaints, interventions, referrals, requests, appeals or other submissions through electronic filing only, including applications for certification and decertification. The board will temporarily dispense with the requirement for a signed statutory declaration with those filings. Parties may be required to file a properly executed statutory declaration at a future date as directed by the board. When filing documentation with the board, please place the appropriate word "Application" or "Submission" in the subject line of the e-mail, along with any relevant case numbers (if known for submissions) so it can easily be identified. Please note that, in the circumstances, processing will likely be delayed.
  • The board’s front-line reception area will continue to be closed to the public for inquiries. Individuals may submit their questions by contacting us by telephone at (204) 945-2089 or in writing to MLBRegistrar@gov.mb.ca. The mailbox will be monitored by staff daily and all inquiries will be responded to as soon as reasonably practicable.
  • Mediations and case conferences will proceed as scheduled by way of teleconference or videoconference. The board will consider requests to adjourn those matters initiated by the parties.
  • All planning meetings respecting representation votes shall be conducted via teleconference or videoconference.
  • Representation votes will be conducted using mail-in ballots or, where appropriate and feasible, using electronic/phone voting.
  • The board will work with parties with respect to rescheduling any hearings adjourned due to the public health crisis. The board will triage cases to ensure that the most critical or time sensitive matters are prioritized. This triage process may require that hearings that have already been scheduled be rescheduled to new dates, in which case the parties shall be notified.
  • The board will grant an additional five (5) business days to file replies or other submissions where the legislation affords the ability to do so. In the event that additional time is required, the board will consider such requests in the context of the pandemic and any other relevant considerations.
  • The board shall conduct case management conferences with parties for any matter scheduled to proceed to hearing between March 16 and June 19, 2020, to determine the most appropriate manner to finalize those matters. Going forward, the board will be scheduling case management conferences on all matters that it has determined may require a hearing.
  • During the case management conferences, the board will discuss with the parties and/or their representatives, the various options that are appropriate to resolve any outstanding issues (including resolution of any outstanding preliminary or potential evidentiary issues). The board’s priority during these case management conferences will be to work with the participants to identify solutions to finalize cases having regard to:
    • the health and well being of participants and board staff, in light of the direction of public health authorities and any provincial emergency measures;
    • adherence to principles of natural justice and procedural fairness;
    • practicality;
    • timeliness; and
    • efficiency.
  • Options to be considered during case management conferences may include, but are not necessarily limited to:
    • mediation (or additional mediation) with the assistance of a Labour Board Officer or other board representative
    • direction to explore the use of agreed statements of facts, agreed books of documents and/or a direction to disclose all documents relevant to a matter in issue that are in the party's possession
    • discussion of whether the hearing may be conducted through the use of written submissions
    • discussion regarding the efficacy of using videoconference technology or teleconference to complete hearings, or portions thereof
    • postponement of hearings, where necessary, until such time as an in-person hearing may be safely and appropriately conducted

The board will continue to actively monitor the situation and continue to work on contingency planning during this rapidly changing situation.

Further COVID-19 Information:

If you are not represented by a union and have questions regarding layoffs, termination and group terminations, contact Manitoba Employment Standards Branch at 204-945-3352 or visit their website. You can also consult their Fact Sheet

If you are not represented by a union and have questions regarding job-protected leave contact Manitoba Employment Standards Branch at 204-945-3352 or visit their website

If you are represented by a union, please consult your collective agreement, or contact your union.

To answer your questions regarding long-term leave for serious injury or illness, please contact the Manitoba Employment Standards Branch at 204-945-3352 or visit their website. You may also consult their Fact Sheet.

If you wish to apply for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits or have questions related to EI benefits, please call 1-800-206-7218 or visit their website Employment Insurance benefits.

If you have questions regarding your right to refuse work that you reasonably believe constitutes a danger to your safety and health, please call 1-855-957-SAFE (7233) or visit their website: Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health (WSH)". Please note that the above is only intended to serve as a guide, for general information only.


March 16, 2020

The pace and complexity of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the community is significant. As the situation continues to evolve and change rapidly, our top priority remains the health, safety, and well-being of our staff and individuals who attend our offices.

To mitigate the impacts of COVID-19, the Board is introducing the following temporary measures and procedural accommodations, effective immediately:

  • All hearings scheduled between March 16 and April 14, 2020, will be postponed. The parties involved in these matters will be notified directly regarding the cancellations. Should circumstances dictate, we may need to postpone hearings beyond April 14, 2020, in which case the parties will be contacted. Additional requests for adjournments of hearing dates will be considered.
  • Mediations and case conferences that are already scheduled will proceed as scheduled by way of teleconference; however, the Board will consider requests to adjourn those matters initiated by the parties.
  • The Board’s front-line reception area will be closed to the public for inquiries. Individuals may submit their questions by contacting us via telephone at (204) 945-2089 or in writing to MLBRegistrar@gov.mb.ca. The mailbox will be monitored by staff and will be responded to in due course.
  • The Board will continue to receive applications, complaints, interventions, referrals, requests, appeals or other submissions through electronic filing only, including applications for certification and decertification. The Board will temporarily dispense with the requirement for a statutory declaration in support of those filings. Place the appropriate word "Application" or "Submission" in the subject line of the e-mail, along with any relevant case numbers (if known for submissions) so it can easily be identified. Please note that, in the circumstances, processing will likely be delayed.
  • The Board is granting temporary extensions of time for the filing of replies and responses to April 14, 2020, or upon request, to a further date that the Board considers reasonable in the circumstances.
  • All planning meetings shall be conducted via teleconference.
  • The Board shall explore alternatives to in-person votes. This may cause delay in some cases.

The rescheduling of hearings will be a priority for the Board as soon as it is considered appropriate.

The Board is committed to being as flexible as possible in assisting the parties and the public to deal with this situation.


Manitoba Labour Board

The Labour Relations Act establishes the mandate of the Manitoba Labour Board as an independent and autonomous specialist tribunal responsible for the fair and efficient administration and adjudication of responsibilities assigned to it under this Act and sections of any other acts, namely:

About our Web Site

The Manitoba Labour Board web site contains information about the program and its activities.

While here, please be sure to ...

  • learn about the Board's role and objectives by visiting About Us.
  • view Board Members to read about the people who adjudicate cases filed with the Board.
  • click on Forms to view and print the form you need, which includes application forms and a statutory declaration form.
  • visit Library to find out about our collection.
  • visit Publications to see what printed information is available and how it can be ordered.
  • learn about the Board's policies on certain issues by clicking on Information Bulletins.
  • click on The Labour Relations Act which will link you to a copy of the Act.
  • view The Manitoba Labour Board Rules and Procedures by clicking on Regulations.
  • visit Contact Us for our address and location, with links to other web sites which may be of interest.

Top of page