Labour Minister Patty Hajdu appears at a Commons human resources committee hearing on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Feb. 12, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Work-life balance, precarious workers, a focus for revamp of federal labour code

Federal labour rules will undergo a legislative rewrite with a new, updated code set to be in place by the time Labour Day rolls around next year, Canada’s employment minister says.

Restoring a work-life balance and better protections for part-time and temporary workers will be among the key focuses of a planned rewrite of Canada’s federal labour rules which are to be updated by the time Labour Day rolls around next year, Canada’s employment minister says.

Labour Minister Patty Hajdu said legislation will be introduced this fall to update the decades-old federal labour standards that haven’t been revamped in a substantive way since they were first written.

Hajdu said changes to the labour code would reflect key themes that emerged from consultations Ottawa held over the last year, and that the lack of a work-life balance was raised a lot.

“People were saying things have to be fairer, things have to be more predictable and we need time…to spend with our families,” Hajdu said.

Any change to provide more work-life balance or new job protections will target the most precarious workers in federally-regulated fields, she said.

“Ultimately, at the end of the day, the code is there to protect the most vulnerable in the workplace,” Hajdu said.

Related: Quiz: How much do you really know about Labour Day?

Related: B.C. VIEWS: Every day is Labour Day for John Horgan’s NDP

Standards enshrined in the Canada Labour Code were originally drafted in the 1960s in an era when the average worker had a full-time, permanent job with benefits. But the code is feeling the strain under a shifting labour force that since the 1970s has been increasingly marked by what is described as non-standard work — usually part-time, temporary or contract work.

Federal officials wrote in a consultation paper last year that some of the labour code’s provisions are basically out of date.

A summary report of the consultations was released last week and showed a tension between labour groups that wanted more stringent rules, and employer groups that wanted more flexibility to adapt to changing labour market dynamics.

Experts also felt the right set of rules could unlock economic potential, but also cautioned about a one-size-fits-all approach.

The summary report also listed changes to federal minimum wage rules as an area for further review, as well as a proposal to give workers the “right to disconnect” and turn off their work-related devices while at home.

Hajdu said the goal is to have legislative changes passed by next summer, after which there would be a need for consultations with employers and labour groups on the necessarily regulatory texts.

The labour code affects more than 900,000 federal workers in Canada, representing about six per cent of the national workforce.

Jordan Press, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Another Kelowna club bites the dust

Level nightclub will be closing

Kelowna weather: Grey and snowy days return

The sun will be hiding behind the clouds for the next few days

Okanagan film industry brings in $32 million

Business is brisk in the Okanagan

Nomination date set for Kelowna- Lake Country Conservatives

March 2 is the deadline for anyone who wants to run for the federal nomination

Rutland pride spills over

Reaction to a story this weekend was clear and worth a second read

Mermen calendar targets ‘toxic masculinity,’ raises big money for charities

Newfoundland and Labrador Beard and Moustache Club gave a cheque for more than $202,000 to Violence Prevention NL

‘Our entire municipality is heartbroken’: Seven children die in Halifax house fire

A man and woman remained in hospital Tuesday afternoon, the man with life-threatening injuries

Bad weather halts search for missing B.C. snowshoer until at least Wednesday

The rescuers were able to rescue the missing man’s friend

Minister says plans to fight poverty, climate change, focus of B.C. budget

The NDP said in its throne speech last week that affordability will be the hallmark of its initiatives

UPDATED: ‘Violent’ B.C. man back in custody after Alberta arrest

Prince George man with ties to Vernon was being sought by police

After a week away, SNC-Lavalin questions await MPs returning to Parliament

Two have resigned already: Jody Wilson-Raybould was veterans affairs minister and Gerald Butts was Trudeau’s principal secretary

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy

Funding allocation expected to be released with 2019 budget

Chanel: Iconic couturier Karl Lagerfeld has died

He spent virtually his entire career at luxury labels catering to the very wealthy

Most Read