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Alberta lagging far behind on workplace rules: says Christina GaryIndia Blooms News Service
The workplace laws cover topics such as hours of work, overtime, general holidays, special leaves and collective bargaining rules. Some of Alberta’s workplace rules are currently out-of-step with the rest of Canada and these areas need to be reviewed.
“Alberta has some of the oldest labour laws in the country. Work life in Alberta has changed a lot over the last 30 years and laws are kept up to date. We want to ensure Albertans can go to work and contribute to our economy while still being able to care for themselves and their families.” said the minister.
The current workplace rules had not been reviewed since 1988 holding the resource based province lagging far behind other provinces of the country.
Minister Christina Gary while putting stress to update of the workplace rule also compared the time period of the rules to the movies that were in theaters during those days like “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” and “Die Hard”.
Some of the striking workplace rules which demands immediate attention from the government are like “Sick Leave” example there was no obligation on the part of employers to provide sick leave and even for a day of sick leave an employee could be terminated from the service whereas Ontario workers enjoyed 10 protected days of unpaid Sick leave in a year.
Similarly changes are also on the card for female employees who would have to work for 52 weeks before being entitled for maternity leave, whereas in Quebec it was only two months of work to get entitled for such leave.
The province was also reviewing the labour relations code that governed union management relations in regard to collective bargaining.
Meanwhile Brian Jean, the opposition leader from the Wildrose Party pointed out the consultation period is “shockingly short” comparing to Ontario workplace legislation which took two years.
The Conservative Party also expressed their concerns about ruling New Democratic Party (NDP) government’s plan to switch over from secret ballots to public card checks by the union.
Janet Riopel, CEO of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, while criticizing the shorter time span, also pointed out that the province may not have reviewed the rules in 30 years but has enjoyed relative labour peace in the past decades.
The officials in the labour ministry say the consultations have been a success so far, with more than 4,200 survey responses received and counting.
(Reporting Chandan Som and Suman Das)