Thursday, February 26th2.2°C
25329
24285

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

25320


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX15241.16+12.59
S&P CDNX700.93+1.44
DJIA18214.42-10.15
Nasdaq4987.89+20.753
S&P 5002110.74-3.12
CDN Dollar0.8008+0.0016
Gold1203.00+6.10
Oil51.03+0.64
Lumber296.80+1.30
Natural Gas2.895-0.007

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.115-0.005
Knighthawk0.010.00
QHR Technologies Inc1.58+0.02
Cantex0.035-0.005
Anavex Life Sciences0.19+0.001
Metalex Ventures0.04+0.005
Russel Metals25.68+0.37
Copper Mountain Mining1.26+0.03
Colorado Resources0.15+0.015
ReliaBrand Inc0.0087+0.0017
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.05+0.015
Mission Ready Services0.21-0.015

 





FEATURED Property
2046024SENGER ROAD
3 bedrooms 2 baths
$129,900
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Creating your retirement vision

A vision means different things to different people. To the head of a large corporation, it’s the ability to chart a course that will deliver success (think Steve Jobs and Apple), to a shaman, i...


It's OK to say 'I'm sorry'

Photo: ContributedStand-up comedians and sitcoms have been making fun of Canadians for being polite as long as I can remember. Being known for our niceness is certainly not a bad thing and I wish more...


Are you asking the right questions?

Have you ever had this happen to you? You are in the middle of your second or third good discussion with a prospect and everything seems to be going great. The prospect seems engaged and happy to work...

_








Member of BC Press Council


25207