The government of Saskatchewan is proposing to modernize, simplify and amalgamate labour legislation as well as explore the creation of a Saskatchewan Employment Code.
The purpose of the review is to:
•identify whether the intent of employment standards, labour relations and specific occupational health and safety legislation is reflected in the current acts and, if not, what changes are necessary and appropriate
•ensure the protections afforded workers are adequate, and the duties and responsibilities of all workplace partners are sufficiently clear to ensure compliance
•address the changing nature of the workplace and provide flexibility to meet the needs of the evolving employer-employee relationship
•better organize the legislation so it is consistent, consolidated and easier to understand.
The government also hopes to make the legislation easier to use and understand, eliminate inconsistencies and clarify which legislation applies in particular situations.
Some examples of the topics under consideration are: essential services legislation, union financial disclosure, notice requirements, collection of employees' wages after business closure, variable hours of work to meet needs of both employers and employees, and indexation of the minimum wage.
A discussion paper (at www.lrws.gov.sk.ca/modernizing-legislation) includes questions on a range of issues, such as:
•Should the Labour Standards Act apply to more or fewer categories of employment or industries? Why or why not?
•Should labour legislation continue to prohibit the charging of a fee for finding employment for an individual?
•Should employees and employers be able to enter into mutually agreed upon flexible work arrangements without requiring a permit?
•What limitations should there be on hours of work, if any?
•Are the overtime provisions appropriate, adequate and clearly set out so as to ensure compliance?
•Should Saskatchewan consider expanding the number of leave provisions to include organ donation, citizenship ceremonies and others?
•Is the current number of public holidays appropriate?
•Should employees be required to provide written notice when terminating their employment?
•Should the minimum wage be indexed?
•Should employees with supervisory responsibilities be in the same union as the employees they supervise?
•Should union members be able to stipulate what their union dues are used for?
•Should legislation make provision for multi-employer, multi-union collective bargaining?
•Are there situations where employees should be able to opt out of the union for reasons other than religious grounds?
Legislation to be reviewed:
•the Construction Industry Labour Relations Act, 1992
•the Health Labour Relations Reorganization Act
•the Labour Management Dispute (Temporary Provisions) Act
•the Public Service Essential Services Act
•the Trade Union Act
•the Employment Agencies Act
•the Fire Departments Platoon Act
•the Labour Standards Act
•the Wages Recovery Act
•the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993
•the Radiation Health and Safety Act, 1985
•the Building Trades Protection Act
•the Human Resources, Labour and Employment Act
•the Victims of Workplace Injuries Day of Mourning Act.
Stakeholders and interested parties are encouraged to submit written input or questions, no later than July 31, 2012.
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