Changes to Saskatchewan’s employment act would clarify sexual harassment issues
The Government of Saskatchewan has introduced amendments to the Saskatchewan Employment Act that will build better and safer workplaces for employers and employees.
The Saskatchewan Employment Amendment Act, 2021 clarifies that any unwelcome action of a sexual nature constitutes harassment. In addition, the harassment provisions will now cover independent contractors, students and volunteers, according to a press release.
With these amendments, Saskatchewan will be one of five jurisdictions to specifically reference sexual harassment in our legislation and to cover contract workers and volunteers. These amendments come as a result of a regular review to the Saskatchewan Employment Act.
“The legislation that governs our employers and employees needs to address the challenges of the modern work environment, including protecting vulnerable workers,” Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Minister Don Morgan said in the release. “These amendments will help us build a stronger, safer and healthier Saskatchewan.”
Additional amendments remove the requirement for the Labour Relations Board to exclude supervisory employees from the same bargaining unit as those they supervise, unless the employer and union have entered into an irrevocable election.
Instead, the board will be given authority to determine the appropriate bargaining unit, which may include a unit comprised only of supervisors.
Additionally, transition provisions have been included which authorize the board to hear applications from employers or unions to amend certification orders which removed supervisors from the existing bargaining units.