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Federal officials wrote in a consultation paper last year that some of the labour code’s provisions are basically out of date.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

Quesnel’s 27th annual Gold Rush Trail Sled Dog Mail Run attracting mushers from as far as Montana

Participantss will be sworn in as official Canada Post mail carriers Jan. 25 in Quesnel

Protecting your operation from wildfire the focus of upcoming workshop in Quesnel

The BC Agriculture and Food Climate Action Initiative hosts a risk reduction workshop Jan. 31

Olympic medallist inspires Quesnel swimmers

Hillary Caldwell provides more than just technical tips to impressionable athletes

Exciting year ahead for North Cariboo Trail Development Program

Fifteen km of new trails to be built at Dragon Mountain and Wonderland trails south of Quesnel

High hospital occupancy amidst seniors housing shortage in Quesnel

An in-depth look at housing, health care and community supports for local seniors

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Most Read