News briefs

Sask. backs down on ‘available hours’ • WCB relief for NFLD. small businesses • Air Canada employees

Sask. backs down on ‘available hours’

— The Saskatchewan government has let its “available hours” legislation die. The legislation would have required employers to distribute additional hours of work to part-time employees on the basis of seniority before hiring more part-time staff. It was designed to give people juggling part-time jobs a crack at full-time employment. But critics and employers called the proposal a job killer that could cripple the province’s burgeoning economy.

WCB relief for NFLD. small businesses

St. John’s
— Businesses in Newfoundland and Labrador paying less than $54,000 in annual workers’ compensation board assessments will be able to pay their annual assessments throughout the year, providing much-needed cash flow relief for small employers. In the past, employers were forced to pay assessments at the beginning of the year, based on estimated annual payroll costs. Those unable to pay the fees up front faced interest penalties equal to the WCB commission’s prime interest rate plus 5 per cent.

Air Canada employees

— Air Canada is facing a grievance from employees over new flight attendant uniforms, which cost about $1,000 each. The Canadian Union of Public Employees says its members should be able to see and touch the clothes before being forced to buy them.

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