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Federal officials wrote in a consultation paper last year that some of the labour code’s provisions are basically out of date.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

Bullfighter Brad Boice is abolutely living his dream

A recent injury did nothing to dampen Boice’s flat-out passion for the sport

Stettler’s history richly showcased at local museum

The Museum will also be featuring Canada Day celebrations

Stettler Health Services’ annual golf tournament a big success despite soggy weather

Annual event ran June 22nd at the Stettler Golf and County Club

Murder charges laid in incident near Rimbey

Rimbey RCMP working with crime unit

Stettler gears up for annual Communities in Bloom challenge

As the 2011 National Champs, the Town now competes in the international category

VIDEO: Stop-motion artist recreates Kawhi Leonard’s famous buzzer-beater

It took Jared Jacobs about 40 hours to make the video, on top of the research

Lower youth minimum wage won’t apply at this year’s Calgary Stampede

A new minimum wage of $13/hr is now in effect for Alberta workers aged 13 to 17

Local cowboys take the Stampede lead on opening night

Bareback, team roping has Ponoka sitting pretty in race to the finals

Rock slide in B.C. river may hinder salmon passage

DFO says it is aware that the slide occurred in a narrow portion of the Fraser River

Four-hour tarmac delay violates charter rights of Canadians with a disability: lawsuit

Bob Brown says new rules reduce the distance he can travel by air without putting his health at risk

Accused mother cries at Alberta trial over boy who died of meningitis

Parents charged with failing to provide necessaries of life for their son who died in 2012

Ponoka County receives update from energy lobby group

CAPP hopes to work with municipalities on property tax issues

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Most Read