The Saskatchewan government has now confirmed that employers within the retail sector will be allowed to define “day” as a calendar day for the purposes of calculating daily overtime. This is a major victory for Saskatchewan retailers and solves the issues around “short shifting”. This new interpretation will reduce the administrative burden on retailers in Saskatchewan and provide greater flexibility for employee scheduling. This new interpretation is now in effect and retroactive to The Saskatchewan Employment Act’s proclamation on April 29, 2014.

Member Impact:

Overtime hours for retail employees in Saskatchewan can now be calculated similarly to that in other provinces whereby “day” is defined as a calendar day. As long as an employee works no more than 8 hours in a calendar day, no overtime is required.

The previous definition of “day” had a day starting when the employee clocks into the workplace and ending 24 hours later. All hours worked during this 24-hour period counted towards an employee’s daily total.

 

For example:

Date Shift Starts Shift Ends Hours Worked
May 3 3:00 PM 11:00 PM 8
May 4 7:00 AM 3:00 PM 8

In this example, the 24-hour period begins at 3 p.m. on May 3 and ends 3 p.m. on May 4, and the employee worked 16 hours. As a result, the employer was formerly required to pay the employee eight hours regular pay and eight hours overtime pay.

The new interpretation changes “day” so that it is now deemed as a calendar day.  As a result, in the above example, there is no daily overtime as only eight hours were worked each calendar day.

RCC has long been asking for the Saskatchewan government to change the definition of “day” in regards to how overtime is calculated for the retail sector. While many of RCC’s recommended changes to Saskatchewan’s labour legislation were reflected in Saskatchewan’s new Employment Act, the clear interpretation of “day” was still required. RCC worked with Ministry officials to ensure that this issue was properly addressed and a suitable interpretation was developed that provided ample protection to employees but solved the issue of “short shifting” for employers.

Background:

The Saskatchewan Employment Act, which consolidated Saskatchewan’s numerous labour laws and made significant changes to modernize and update the province’s employment standards and labour relations laws took effect in April 2014.

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 legislation and also provided a submission outlining our views on Bill 85.

As the associated regulations were being reviewed and developed, RCC provided the government with another formal submission and met with the Minister of Labour and Ministry officials regularly throughout this process to provide input on behalf of Saskatchewan retailers.

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