December 10, 2012
This week Labour Minister Don Morgan introduced Bill 85 – The Saskatchewan Employment Act, which consolidates Saskatchewan’s numerous labour laws and makes significant changes to modernize and update the province’s employment standards and labour relations laws.
Bill 85 reflects many of RCC’s recommendations to the Government of Saskatchewan and will address a good number of retailers’ outstanding issues with Saskatchewan’s labour legislation, especially those around hours of work and overtime. However, some of RCC’s recommendations, such as how to address future increases to the minimum wage, were not fully implemented in the Bill. Minister Morgan announced that Saskatchewan will be indexing the minimum wage moving forward and eliminating the Minimum Wage Board.
Stakeholders will have until March 1, 2013 to provide feedback on Bill 85 and recommend additional changes. RCC will be meeting with Ministry officials throughout the consultation period to provide retail’s perspective on Bill 85.
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.
This summer, the Saskatchewan government announced that they 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’s recommendations included:
Bill 85 changes the definition of “work week” thus allowing retailers to set their own standard work week. As a result, the issues around “work week” and “day” that have caused short shifting and increased overtime have been addressed.
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 can also apply for a permit granting an exemption. RCC will be pushing the Ministry to have retail employers identified as a class of employers exempt from this provision.
Bill 85 allows retailers to provide their staff schedules one week in advance and allows for changes to be made if “unexpected, unusual or emergency circumstances” arise.
An overview of the new Saskatchewan Employment Act can be found at http://www.lrws.gov.sk.ca/sk-employment-act-overview
To view Bill 85 – The Saskatchewan Employment Act, click here: http://docs.legassembly.sk.ca/legdocs/Bills/27L2S/Bill27-85.pdf
|Lanny McInnes Director, Government Relations and Member Services (Manitoba and Saskatchewan)
Tel: (204) 253-1654
Toll-Free: (888) 254-1654