News Briefs

Feds introduce pay equity bill; HRPA launches rules of conduct; B.C. expands employment program for abused women; Poor economy leads to labour peace: Conference Board; Law protecting children, foreign workers takes effect; Feds launch Canada Summer Jobs 2009

Feds introduce pay equity bill

Ottawa — The federal government has introduced a bill that would make employers and unions responsible for pay equity for federal public sector workers. The proposed legislation would take away the rights of workers to take pay equity disputes to the Canadian Human Rights Commission and instead fair wages would have to be reached through collective bargaining or compensation plans for non-union staff. Treasury Board president Vic Toews says the bill would overhaul a complaints-based pay equity system that keeps many women waiting for years. Unions representing federal workers say the government is attacking human rights to avoid hefty settlements.

HRPA launches rules of conduct

Toronto — The Human Resources Professionals Association has released its rules of professional conduct for members. The rules, which come into effect June 1, provide guidance for HR professionals as to what is acceptable professional conduct and define professional misconduct. The rules, based on the association’s code of ethics, set out the duties of HR professionals toward employers, clients, employees, other professionals, the profession and the public. The rules are available online at

B.C. expands employment program for abused women

Victoria — British Columbia has revised and expanded an employment program for women fleeing violence. The $5-million Bridging Employment Program (BEP), which has been in place since the fall of 2003, provides services to help abused women and former sex trade workers overcome barriers to employment. The revised program, launched last month, will be available across the province and help 880 women a year (up from 562). It will also offer continuous participant enrolment with flexible and individualized services, provide each participant with a personal plan and allow women who are not on income assistance to participate.

Poor economy leads to labour peace: Conference Board

Ottawa — A weakened economy will lead to labour peace in the majority of negotiations this year, according to the Conference Board’s Industrial Relations Outlook 2009: Managing Expectations in Uncertain Times. For the first time in several decades, both labour and management are entering bargaining in a weakened state, with neither side having an upper hand, according to the report. The Conference Board predicts pensions as well as wage concessions on the part of unions will be key issues in bargaining in 2009.

Law protecting children, foreign workers takes effect

Winnipeg — Legislation to improve protection for child performers and foreign workers in Manitoba will come into effect on April 1. The act, passed by the legislature last fall, will: prohibit recruiters and employers from charging workers fees for helping them find jobs; require employers involved in international recruitment to register with the provincial government; and require all employment agencies and recruiters, as well as talent agencies and recruiters working with child performers, to be licensed. The act also includes strengthened enforcement provisions to ensure employers, agencies and recruiters comply with the act.

Feds launch Canada Summer Jobs 2009

Ottawa — Time is running out for employers to apply for funding through Canada Summer Jobs 2009, which helps not-for-profit, public sector and small private sector employers create summer jobs for full-time students aged 15 to 30. MPs across Canada can provide input to help Service Canada determine priorities for their communities. Interested employers can apply online at or at their local Service Canada Centre. Applications must be submitted by Feb. 27.

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