November 15, 2018 Vancouver, British Columbia Employment and Social Development Canada
A strong middle class depends on a job market where everyone has a real and fair chance at success. Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, met with GCT Vanterm employees at the Port of Vancouver to talk about recently announced changes to federal labour standards that will better protect Canadian workers and help set the stage for good-quality jobs. The Minister will also meet with employees of VIA Rail and Shaw Communications to talk about how these changes will benefit them.
Legislation tabled last month will make changes to improve employees’ eligibility for entitlements such as general holiday pay, sick leave, maternity leave and parental leave. They will also improve work–life balance by introducing new breaks and leaves, including a new five-day personal leave and five days of paid leave for victims of family violence. Changes will also ensure that employees in precarious work are paid equally and have fair access to the same entitlements as their full-time counterparts.
The legislation also introduces improvements to the Wage Earner Protection Program that will increase the maximum financial support provided to workers who are owed wages when their employer files for bankruptcy or enters receivership.
Finally, the Minister will be recommending a regulation extending the protection of remuneration levels to workers covered by a collective agreement at airports and airlines following contract retendering. The practices of contract retendering or “contract-flipping” are serious issues at some Canadian airports and we are taking action. We will work with stakeholders during the regulatory process to ensure we get this right.
“Bringing federal labour standards into the 21st century will strengthen the middle class. Better working conditions are good for business and benefit both workers and employers. When economic growth is inclusive, and fewer Canadians are left behind, we are all better off.”
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
Federal labour standards are set out in Part III of the Canada Labour Code. They establish the basic rights (e.g. hours of work, wages, leaves and holidays) of employees in federally regulated private-sector industries, such as banking, telecommunications and interprovincial and international transportation. They also help create a level playing field for employers by requiring them to meet these standards.
Between May 2017 and March 2018, the Government consulted with Canadians, stakeholders and experts on the changing nature of work and how federal labour standards could be updated to better reflect current workplace realities. One strong message was repeated throughout the consultations: The way Canadians work has changed, but federal labour standards have not. These consultations also made it clear there are a number of complex issues related to federal labour standards and the changing nature of work that require more in-depth review and discussion. These will be studied by an Expert Panel, to be announced shortly
Up to $50.7 million over five years starting in 2019–20 and up to $12.2 million ongoing will be allocated to support implementation and enforcement of the labour standards amendments, including education and awareness, training and increased resources for proactive enforcement activities and to ensure timely resolution of complaints.
Through Budget Implementation Act 2018, No. 2, the Government of Canada also introduced proactive pay equity legislation and improvements to the Wage Earner Protection Program (WEPP). Proactive pay equity legislation will ensure that women and men working in federally regulated workplaces, including the federal private sector, the federal public service, parliamentary workplaces and Ministers’ offices, receive equal pay for work of equal value. Improvements to the WEPP will increase the maximum financial support provided to workers who are owed wages when their employer files for bankruptcy or enters receivership.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
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