WINDSOR, ON, Feb. 13, 2020 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Labour, was in Windsor, Ontario, where she met with stakeholders to discuss a number of new labour policy initiatives the Government of Canada is piloting. The Minister talked about mental health in workplaces, employees' "right to disconnect" and how better to protect digital platform workers.
During the day, Minister Tassi met with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 773, Unifor Local 444 President David Cassidy and Secretary-Treasurer James Stewart, and the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority. The Minister also led a Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce roundtable discussion, attended an announcement by the Build a Dream program that will empower young women to pursue careers in the skilled trades and toured Bonduelle Canada Inc.
While in Windsor, the Minister sought stakeholder views on three new initiatives the Government is piloting to help fashion a sensible and balanced approach to labour policy, one of which is making mental health a core part of occupational health and safety policy. She also sought views on the development of a "right to disconnect" so that employees can enjoy some genuine down time when they are not working, without sacrificing all of the positive features of electronic communication. Finally, the Minister sought feedback on how to better protect digital platform workers who often are not covered by basic labour standards and instead treated as independent contractors, even though they may depend on a particular platform to carry out their work.
These initiatives, which are part of the Minister's mandate letter commitments, build on key labour policy objectives that the Government has focused on since 2015. These include promoting gender equity through the new Pay Equity Act; fostering flexible and decent working conditions through improved federal labour standards; and ensuring safe and healthy workplaces across Canada through Bill C-65, anti-harassment legislation, and abroad with a new International Labour Organization convention on violence and harassment at work.
"As the new Minister of Labour, I'm committed to continuing to work toward objectives that keep workers safe and healthy, and that take into account the changing world of work. I very much like hearing the views of employers, unions and the public on challenges and issues in the area of labour policy that our government intends to move forward on. Governments around the world are beginning to think through these issues and we don't want to be left behind."
– The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Labour
- Important changes to the Canadian Labour Code (the Code) and the Canada Labour Standards Regulations have recently been made to provide flexible work arrangements and new leaves and strengthen labour standards protections in workplaces in the federally regulated private sector. Some of these amendments and the related regulatory changes have already come into force or will come into force in 2020.
- The Pay Equity Act is expected to contribute to reducing the portion of the gender wage gap in federally regulated workplaces that is due to the undervaluation of work traditionally performed by women. It received Royal Assent in 2018 and will come into force once regulations are in place.
- Bill C-65, which will come into force later this year, will strengthen provisions in the Code by putting into place one comprehensive approach that takes the full spectrum of harassment and violence into consideration, and expand the coverage to cover parliamentary workplaces, including Parliament Hill staff.
- Canada spearheaded the adoption of the new International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 190, which aims to eliminate violence and harassment in the world of work. It was adopted by the ILO in June 2019 and the Government is now consulting with the provinces and territories with a view towards ratification.
Government of Canada to provide better work-life balance for middle-class families
Historic proactive pay equity legislation receives Royal Assent
Federal anti-harassment and violence legislation receives Royal Assent
Government of Canada helps young women prepare for high-demand and well‑paying jobs in the skilled trades
Minister of Labour Mandate Letter
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information: Dustin Fitzpatrick, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Filomena Tassi, P.C., M.P., Minister of Labour, 613-462-4933, [email protected]; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, [email protected]