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Federal officials wrote in a consultation paper last year that some of the labour code’s provisions are basically out of date.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

Alberta’s 47 legislature newbies meet under the dome for orientation day

Most new members are with the United Conservatives, who won a majority government

OPINION: Jason Kenney won by portraying himself as the Guardian of Alberta

How did Kenney do it? He never considered himself an opposition leader and didn’t pretend to be one.

VIDEO: Police dog in Oregon struck by 200 porcupine quills during pursuit

The German shepherd had to be sedated and was in treatment for more than two hours

Provinces, Ottawa talk 50/50 split on abandoned bus-route service

B.C. has paid $2 million on a bus service for the northern part of the province

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Digestive issues? You may have SIBO

Gut health info session

Oil and gas company confirms death of one of its employees in Yoho avalanche

Dana Coffield died when he was skiing in the Rocky Mountains

Cenovus CEO estimates production curtailments will deliver billions to taxpayers

The curtailment program started Jan. 1 was designed to keep 325,000 barrels per day off the market

Kathy McTaggart appointed new principal for Ponoka Secondary Campus

Ponoka Secondary Campus (PSC) will have a new prinicipal for the 2019-2020… Continue reading

Robbery in Leduc County estimated at $40,000

Leduc RCMP investigate break and enter and theft of firearms

Most Read