Manitoba introduces flextime legislation

Would give employers ‘streamlined process’
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 04/21/2011

Manitoba has introduced legislation that would make it easier for businesses to introduce flexible work hours that accommodate employers' needs and allow them to better balance their work-life schedules.

"Businesses have told us they want a streamlined process and employees have said they want the option of more flexible hours to balance their work hours with their home and family needs," said Labour and Immigration Minister Jennifer Howard. "The legislation we are introducing today will do just that."

Under the current employment standards code, the standard hours of work are eight hours in a day and 40 hours in a week. When the needs of a business cannot be accommodated within these standards, employers can apply to the director of the Employment Standards branch for a permit to average the standard hours of work across a specific number of weeks.

Until now, an averaging permit allowed employers to increase the daily hours in a 40-hour workweek or average the hours across a longer period. Employers that asked or allowed employees to work longer than the hours allowed in the permit had to pay 1.5 times their regular hourly wage for each hour of overtime. Permits were not generally given for flextime or to accommodate individual employee schedules. To ensure employees are protected, the director of the Employment Standards branch would have the ability to cancel these agreements if an employee does not agree or is coerced.

Manitoba’s proposed changes to the labour code would allow for individual agreements between employers and employees to alter the standard hours of work (flextime).

"These changes will allow Manitoba businesses to quickly adapt to today's economic challenges and provide a better work experience for their employees," said Howard.

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