N.W.T. revamps employment standards laws

Unpaid leave for illness, bereavement spelled out for first time
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 05/30/2008

The winds of employment standards change are blowing across the Northwest Territories, with effects felt by employers and employees alike.

Last summer, the territorial government passed the Employment Standards Act. The new legislation was designed to replace three old pieces of legislation that had governed employment relationships in the territory: Labour Standards Act, Wage Recovery Act and Employment Agencies Act. On April 1, the new act came into force.

The new legislation allows for employers and employees to make agreements for time off in lieu of overtime pay. The old legislation didn’t allow for lieu time. Some employers made informal arrangements under the old laws, but these were technically illegal and could have put employers at risk, said Glenn Tait, a partner who practices employment law with McLennan Ross in Yellowknife.