NORTHEAST — The province is asking for feedback about changes to labour standards. The Nipawin and District Chamber of Commerce is encouraging people to make their voices heard.
Under review by the province is the second part of the Saskatchewan Employment Act and four related regulations. The goal of the review, according to the province, is to identify the concerns of Saskatchewan employers and employees; any redundant requirements or unnecessary red tape; and any required updates.
"Using the feedback we receive, our goal is to modernize the legislation and ensure that we are creating a fair and balanced employment environment for continued investment and economic growth in our province," said Don Morgan, who was the labour relations minister, in a media release.
The employment standards provisions of the act were last substantively reviewed in 2012 when 12 pieces of labour legislation were consolidated into one comprehensive act.
“Many things have changed over the last few years," said Lisa Suchlandt, executive director of the Nipawin chamber. "This gives us the opportunity to have a say in the updates that are more relevant now following COVID. Often times we take for granted the opportunity to participate in important surveys that affect our business, employees and the overall regulations.”
There have been some amendments to specific provisions in the intervening years. For example, the inclusion of interpersonal violence and public health emergency leaves; expanding compassionate care and parental leaves; and expanding nomination leave to include running for band council.
Since the 2012 review, the employment environment has changed. World events, including the global pandemic, have resulted in the adoption of new work arrangements such as remote and gig work. In addition, workplaces are seeing a greater reliance on technology in order to gain efficiencies and be competitive in the global market.
The province has released a discussion paper on the subject (warning: .pdf) that focuses on:
- Application of employment standards and definitions of employer and employee
- Hours of work
- Wages and regulation of tips
- Job protection for ill or injured employees
- Employment leaves
- Layoff and terminations
- Authority of employment standards officers
The paper describes the current situation and asks a few specific questions on how the regulations should change.
Feedback can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to the Employment Standards Review Corporate Services Division. The deadline is Oct. 31.
Suchlandt said she encourages everyone to take a moment, go through the proposed changes and submit thier input for review.