On Monday, April 3, the government of Alberta brought stakeholders together to address concerns about the Employment Standards Code and why now is the time to review it. Executive Director Ken Gibson attended the meeting on behalf of ACA and its members.
Points made at the meeting:
- The Code needs to recognize differences across industries and the labor market. Construction is project based, located often in remote areas, with many small firms.
- Construction has come through long term labour shortage so retention has been a key concern.
- ACA opposes extending mandated maximum length of job-protected compassionate care leave from 8-26 weeks to match EI benefits. Given the project based nature of work, employers can’t guarantee work continuity for rest of their workforce. Exceptions are needed.
- ACA argues that employers should not be subject to accommodating multiple periods of leave.
- ACA argues that existing Employment Standards code exemptions for construction industry need to be retained and expanded should proposed changes come into effect.
- ACA advocates that a warning rather than a fine be first step if a progressive regime in enforcement is adopted.