Friday, October 31st9.6°C
21625
23823

Saskatchewan spells out rules for new labour law, including rights of interns

REGINA - New labour rules that index the minimum wage and recognize the rights of interns are now in effect in Saskatchewan.

The province has proclaimed the Saskatchewan Employment Act and regulations that spell out how employers and workers can be treated.

Among other things, the regulations say that interns are employees if they're doing the same duties as other workers and that means they must be paid.

"The term 'intern' became really broadly used and probably abused," Labour Minister Don Morgan said Tuesday. "The people that were called interns were often entry-level workers, and employers were sometimes taking advantage of those people, saying, 'Well, you're an intern. Therefore you will not be paid for this or we're going to pay you whatever lesser amount of pay than what the act would require,' he said.

"So we've said, interns, you're going to get paid."

The regulations create a separate class for student learners, such as student teachers, who have to do a work placement for an educational program and may or may not be paid, Morgan said.

The regulations also allow employers and workers to agree to average hours over one to four weeks.

Such a modified work agreement means an employee might work 160 hours over four weeks. For example, that could be done with five eight-hour days or four 10-hour days.

Morgan said it became clear during consultations that workers wanted the flexibility.

"Firefighters were working 24-hour shifts because they were there all day. We had nurses working 12 hours. We had people under permits, sometimes unionized, sometimes not, in the far north that wanted to have seven days in, four days out or whatever the alternate arrangements were," he said.

"There was all kinds of desire to have those, and it wasn't a matter of the employer saying, 'we want this to happen.' It was a matter of the employee saying, 'I want to spend a greater amount of time with my family.'"

People who are called to work outside of their scheduled shift will have to be paid three times their hourly wage. The old rule was three times the minimum wage.

The regulations also say that retail workers should get two consecutive days off and, when possible, one of those days should be a Saturday or a Sunday.

The Saskatchewan Federation of Labour said the new regulations leave a number of questions unanswered.

"Some of the most glaring examples are the issues of scope and supervisors," federation president Larry Hubich said in a news release.

"As currently written, the (Saskatchewan Employment Act) could potentially mean that thousands of Saskatchewan people are driven out of their organizations, and that thousands more will be prohibited from exercising their constitutional right to join a union."

The Saskatchewan Employment Act rolls together about a dozen pieces of labour legislation into one omnibus law.

However, the Public Service Essential Services Act is not yet included because it is being challenged at the Supreme Court of Canada next month. The act says employers can dictate which workers are so needed that they can't walk off the job.

The labour federation has been challenging the essential services legislation since it was passed in May 2008.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

23028


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14571.58+112.89
S&P CDNX762.69-8.96
DJIA17368.52173.10
Nasdaq4626.74+60.602
S&P 5002014.01+19.36
CDN Dollar0.8864-0.007
Gold1168.10-30.50
Oil79.82-1.08
Lumber323.80+0.20
Natural Gas3.715+0.066

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.115+0.005
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.18+0.03
Cantex0.045-0.015
Anavex Life Sciences0.18+0.0089
Metalex Ventures0.03-0.005
Russel Metals32.56+0.34
Copper Mountain Mining2.04+0.07
Colorado Resources0.12-0.02
ReliaBrand Inc0.012-0.004
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.05+0.025
Mission Ready Services0.38+0.005

 





FEATURED Property
21137441537 Mountain Ave
4 bedrooms 2 baths
$459,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Empty nesting: financial issues

Now that the children have ‘left the nest’, it is a good time to step back and take stock of your financial situation. Being on your own will probably cut household costs to some extent, b...


Keep your haunted home safe

Eerie sounds, spooky lights and Jack-o’-lanterns aglow—extra efforts at Halloween will keep visitors coming back for both tricks and treats. However, to keep the fun going, it’s imp...


What I learned in China

Photo: ContributedI will never be an expert on China. It is just too big, too complex and too old with layers of history and meaning that would take several lifetimes to unravel. As I said to my hosts...

_








Member of BC Press Council


23741