Underage workers need protection: AFL
CALGARY — There are widespread violations of employment standards for working children and adolescents in Alberta, according to a study by the Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) and Athabasca University. In 2009, 6.3 per cent of children aged nine to 11 were employed and 78 per cent of their jobs were illegal. That same year, 26,000 adolescent workers (12 to 14) were employed and more than 21 per cent worked in prohibited occupations. The AFL called on Alberta’s employment minister, Thomas Lukaszuk, to immediately reverse the decision to allow children as young as 12 to work in restaurants and commit to a continuing program of random inspections for employers known to employ underage workers.
Manitoba introduces flextime legislation
WINNIPEG — Manitoba has introduced legislation that would make it easier for businesses to use flexible work hours. 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. Permits were not generally given for flextime or to accommodate individual employee schedules. The proposed changes would allow for individual agreements between employers and employees to alter the standard hours of work.