Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety is now consulting with stakeholders on the operational regulations associated with Bill 85 – The Saskatchewan Employment Act.  RCC is looking for your input and feedback on Saskatchewan’s new Employment Act and the proposed regulations in order to respond to the Government’s recently released discussion paper.

To view the Government’s discussion paper, visit here.

Responses are to be provided to the Ministry by September 27, 2013.

Retailers interested in responding directly to the Government of Saskatchewan may provide their feedback in writing to:

Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety
300 - 1870 Albert Street, Regina, SK S4P 4W1

Or submit electronically to: [email protected].

Member Impact:

Many of RCC’s recommendations were reflected in Bill 85 including:

    Changing the definition of “work week” to solve scheduling and overtime issues;
    Providing more flexibility around schedule changes;
    Addressing issues and challenges dealing with the Saskatchewan Labour Board; and
    Clarifying roles and authority of inspectors and labour officers.

However, a number of outstanding issues still need to be addressed or clarified by regulation. They include:

    Addressing the issues around hours of work, specifically the definitions of “work week” and “day” that have caused problems for retailers like short shifting and increased overtime costs;

RCC Response:

Bill 85 changes the definition of “work week”, allowing retailers to set their own standard work week.  We have been assured that the issues around “work week” and “day” that have caused short shifting and increased overtime have been addressed by this change.  RCC will continue to press for clarification on this issue.

    Eliminating the “two consecutive days off of which Sunday is one” provision;

RCC Response:

Bill 85 eliminates the requirement that one of the two days must be a Sunday.  It will also allow classes of employers to be exempt from this provision.  Individual employers may also apply for a permit granting an exemption.  RCC will continue pushing the Ministry to have retail employers identified as a class of employers exempt from this provision in the regulation.

Next Steps:

RCC will be providing the Ministry with a response to the discussion paper in advance of the September 27th deadline and will be meeting with Ministry officials in September to discuss our response and the concerns of our members.

Please feel free to share your feedback and/or responses to the Ministry’s discussion paper directly with RCC’s Director, Prairies, Lanny McInnes at [email protected].

Background:

Prior to the 2011 provincial election, RCC released “Retail’s Election Agenda” outlining the key priorities retailers wanted the Government of Saskatchewan to address.  A key component of “Retail’s Election Agenda” was reviewing and modernizing the province’s Labour Standards Act.

In 2012 the Saskatchewan Government announced that it would be reviewing, consolidating, and modernizing the province’s labour legislation.  RCC provided a response to the Government’s consultation paper, outlining retailers’ concerns and recommendations on changes that should be included in the new Act.  RCC also provided the government with a submission outlining our views on Bill 85.

The Saskatchewan Employment Act was passed on May 15, 2013 but will not come into effect until proclaimed by the Government.  It is expected that the Government will proclaim the new Act this fall once the consultation process has been completed and the regulations have been approved by cabinet.  Until the new Act is proclaimed, the current labour laws in Saskatchewan will remain in effect.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact: Lanny McInnes, Director, Prairies at:  [email protected] or (204) 253-1654.