As you know, the Labour Relations Code Amendment Act, 2022 (Bill 10) received royal assent on June 2, 2022.
In response to these amendments, effective immediately, the Labour Relations Board is implementing a new procedure of frequent, random audits in the investigation of certification applications. The audits will be conducted by an Officer of the Board and will be carried out in addition to the duties the Officer would normally carry out on applications for certification.
Union membership evidence
An Officer will conduct a membership inquiry which will give employees in the proposed bargaining unit an opportunity to confidentially disclose whether they signed a membership card. The Officer may also:
- conduct a follow-up interview (by phone, in person, or by videoconference), with individuals who responded to the Board's membership inquiry
- verify employees' signatures against employer payroll or other records, and/or
- audit membership evidence using any other method which the Board considers appropriate in the circumstances
Where membership inquiry responses appear to disclose an irregularity, the Officer will conduct a further investigation, using one of the methods described above.
An Officer will inspect the employer's payroll records to assist the Board in resolving a dispute about the constituency of the proposed bargaining unit or to verify employee signatures against those on the membership evidence provided. The employer will be asked to provide payroll or other records for the Officer to review. If the Officer is not satisfied with the records the employer produces or if the employer fails to produce records as requested, the Officer will attend the employer's premises to conduct its payroll inspection.
If either the membership audit or the payroll inspection appears to disclose any irregularities, the Officer will conduct further enquiries or investigations as it determines are necessary. The Officer will report their findings to the panel assigned to the file. The panel will determine next steps, which may include the involvement of one of the Board's Special Investigating Officers (SIOs).
This new investigation procedure will not be conducted in all cases, but will be conducted on a random and frequent basis, as determined by the Board.
The Board will monitor this new investigation procedure to assess its viability and effectiveness. We expect trade unions and employers to fully cooperate with the Board's staff and the Officer in carrying out their responsibilities in this regard.
The Board encourages its stakeholders to provide its feedback with respect to the operation of this new procedure. Please reach out to any one of us in that regard.
Jennifer Glougie, Chair
Brett Matthews, Associate Chair
J. Najeeb Hassan, Registrar and Vice-Chair