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Canada Labour Code Changes Recommended
December 5, 2006

After two years of study, a federal inquiry chaired by law professor Harry Arthurs has released a report recommending 172 changes to Part III of the Canada Labour Code. The Code applies to federally-regulated employers, including banks, telecommunications and broadcasting companies, postal services and airlines. Part III of the Code was enacted in 1965 and has not been significantly changed since. Highlights of the recommendations include:

• Mandatory written contracts of employment for all employees;

• More flexibility in hours of work to enhance work-life balance;

• More flexibility in maternity, parental and compassionate care leave;

• Pre-emptive screening of unjust dismissal complaints;

• Improved severance pay for long service employees;

• Improved pay and benefits for part-time and temporary workers;

• An increased federal minimum wage; and

• Formal cooperation with the Canadian Human Rights Commission in the

investigation of human rights issues in the workplace.