Canada: The Saskatchewan Employment Act: The Act Proclaimed

Last Updated: November 10 2014
Article by David M.A Stack and Robert J. Affleck

The Saskatchewan Employment Act was proclaimed into law today (Tuesday, April 29th, 2014). The legislation subsumes a number of statutes, including The Labour Standards Act, The Trade Union Act, and The Occupational Health and Safety Act. The legislation provides much needed modernization and balance in the areas of labour standards and labour relations. The regulations that the government has established to accompany the new legislation also build on the reform.

The proclamation of the Act ushers in a number of changes, but here are a few key points:

Employment Standards:

Leave Provisions

  • Lowered qualification threshold for maternity, parental and adoption leave from 20 weeks to 13 weeks.
  • Notice (4 weeks) required for commencing and returning from leave.
  • Two new leaves – organ donation (max 26 weeks) and leave to attend citizenship ceremonies (1 day).


  • Time banking will be permissible where agreed between the employer and employee at a rate of 1.5 times the number of hours worked.
  • Banked time must be used within 12 months of being banked with both employers and employees agreeing to use of time.


  • Employers and employees may agree to averaging models which reflect the following:
    • 40 hours over 1 week
    • 80 hours over 2 weeks
    • 120 hours over 3 weeks
    • 160 hours over 4 weeks
  • Maximum of 12 hours per day.
  • Majority consent by affected employees is required and lasts a maximum of 2 years (but may be renewed).
  • Modified work arrangements do not apply to part-time employees.

Compliance Audits

  • Compliance audits - provision for the government to conduct compliance audits, ie, audits of employers' compliance with labour standards in the absence of a complaint.
  • A fee of 10% of assessed owing wages may be applied as a result of an audit.


  • Effort to consolidate the adjudication processes under the employment standards and OHS parts.Appeals of employment standards and occupational health and safety decisions will be heard by adjudicators assigned by the Labour Relations Board (LRB)Adjudicators are to take into account mitigation.


  • Fines increasing 5 times to maximum of $50,000.

Minimum Wage

  • Minimum Wage Board will be disestablished.
  • Indexation of the minimum wage, subject to Cabinet approval.

Minimum Callout Pay

  • Minimum Callout pay has increased to 3 times the employee's hourly wage (rather than 3 times minimum wage).
  • Provide minimum 1 hour's pay for school students, noonhour supervisors and school bus drivers.
  • Now includes janitors, caretakers, and building cleaners.

Retail Sector

  • Retail employees where there are more than 10 employees who work 20 or more hours a week are entitled to two consecutive days of rest – when possible one of those days is to be a Saturday or Sunday.


  • Interns will be recognized as employees, but "student learners" in an educational program that requires a work placement or practicum to complete their program are not "employees".

Occupational Health and Safety:

Minutes of Occupational Health Committee are no longer required to be submitted to the Ministry, but must be maintained for inspection purposes.

Prime Contractors

  • Designation of a prime contractor on worksites with 10 or more self-employed persons or workers will be required, but only in the industries of Construction, Forestry, and Oil and gas.


  • Maximum penalties for individuals ($500,000) and corporations ($1.5 million) increase.

Labour Relations:

Regulations and Forms

The Labour Relations Board will be releasing new regulations and forms and the existing regulations and forms will be repealed.

Exempt Staff

  • The definition of "employee" has been significantly changed to exclude from a bargaining unit employees whose duties include activities of a confidential nature in matters relating to any of the following:

(I) labour relations;

(II) business strategic planning;

(III) policy advice;

(IV) budget implementation or planning.

These duties need to have a direct impact on the bargaining unit.

  • Definition of "supervisory employee" which would prevent supervisors from belonging to the same bargaining unit as those they supervise, unless the employer and union to agree to maintain supervisors in the same union as those employees they supervise (2 year transition period).


  • The time period for providing a notice to commence bargaining is now "not less than 60 days nor more than 120 days before the expiry date of the collective agreement" .
  • New "Notice of Dispute" document is established. Notice must be given the Minister when an impasse has been reached and mandatory conciliation procedures must be followed before a strike or lock out occurs.
  • Minister will have a number of options to assist the parties to reaching a resolution including mediation, conciliation and arbitration.
  • Even if these conciliatory processes fail to result in an agreement, a 14-day cooling off period must be observed before strike or lockout can occur (and 48-hour strike notice must be provided).
  • Minister may to establish an industrial inquiry commission to consider larger industry disputes.

Last Offer Vote

  • A last offer vote can be requested by employer or employees anytime after notice to bargain (no longer tied to strike, but only one vote a dispute).
  • Employees' application to vote on employer's last offer must be accompanied by evidence of support from 45% of employees.
  • All employees of the bargaining unit eligible to vote.
  • Minister has authority to require a vote.


  • The special provision for cafeteria, janitorial or security services in a government-owned or university building will be removed.


  • The Act now allows for decertification where the union has been inactive in representing members for a period of 3 or more years.
  • Applications to decertify anytime after the first 24 months of a certification order and 12 months after an unsuccessful decert application, thereafter.

First Collective Agreement

  • When imposing a first collective agreement, the LRB or single arbitrator will consider economic conditions and terms and conditions of employment in similar occupations.
  • Mandatory length of 2 years.

Union Accountability

  • Audited financial statements to members. It is interesting to note that the original Trade Union Acts which came about in the United Kingdom and Canada in the early 1870s contained provisions that contemplated financial accounting to the membership of the union.
  • Ratification votes within 14 days of negotiating collective agreement.
  • Removal of provision authorizing union to fine members for crossing picket line.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions