Nova Scotia proposes merging employment boards

Streamlined board will result in faster decisions and lower dispute resolution costs
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 07/21/2010

The Nova Scotia government is proposing to merge six employment-related boards and tribunals into one board this year.

"We committed to Nova Scotians that the government would live within its means and streamlining boards will help us accomplish that goal," said Labour and Workforce Development Minister Marilyn More. "These changes will not prevent anyone from bringing a dispute before a board."

If approved, the changes could mean faster decisions, lower dispute resolution costs and more consistent processes.

The boards to be merged are the Labour Relations Board, Civil Service Employee Relations Board, Highway Workers' Employee Relations Board, Correctional Facilities Employee Relations Board, Occupational Health and Safety Appeal Panel and Labour Standards Tribunal.

The Department of Labour and Workforce Development is recommending that the new board have the option to appoint one adjudicator instead of a three-member panel. Hearings could be scheduled faster, decisions made more quickly and expenses would be reduced.

The department could also offer more options for hearings, such as the ability of the board to issue a decision based solely on written submissions.

Video conferencing is another option being considered to reduce the time and expense of travel to a dispute hearing.

The government has released a discussion paper with the proposed changes and various options for how the board would operate. The public is asked to provide feedback by mail, email or phone by Sept. 24.

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